A Whimsical Introduction:

Athena: the Greek goddess of art, crafts, wisdom, and strategy. She was infinitely beautiful and had a charming habit to intimidate and/or violently destroy anyone she met.
I am nothing like her. But I like tea, books, and art, so that must count for something?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

First Impression of Mad Men

I thought this would be a novel way to give a review, because sometimes, you just don't want to wait. And with a show that's been going as long as Mad Men or (god forbid) Doctor Who, it just isn't fun at all to wait to finish all 200,000+ episodes just so you can express your opinion with authority. 

I started Mad Men last night, and I'm currently on episode 8. I know, I know, I have a long way to go. But I have to say? If the series finale doesn't end up with all of them dying of lung cancer, I don't know what I'll do, because MY GOD DO THEY SMOKE. But I guess that makes sense, because at that time everyone was in denial to the fact that cigarettes were harmful. 

It's about the executives, secretaries, and their families/friends of an advertising firm in 1960's Manhattan. Sounds riveting right? You would be surprised.

The creators have done a great job of devising a balance between the false idyllic lifestyle that old white people remember with nostalgia, as well as permeating it with oppressive sexism, racism, and xenophobia in such a casual, honest way that it makes you feel like you're there. It's like watching a 60's movie that's actually self aware. The women have such a tragic view of their lives as nothing more than breeders; you watch them try and trick themselves into thinking they achieved the great Female Dream: Married, Kids, Baubles, Suburbia, Naps. Though I wish they would give a broader spread of characters from different backgrounds (so far it's just cishet white people, 90% men in suits) but I'm thankful they didn't portray the characters as perfect. In fact, they're decidedly less than that. One's a serial cheater, half of them are potential date rapists, and all of them are chauvinistic. 

Is this what watching The Borgias is like? 

I feel like I should be rooting for someone, but they're all, quite frankly, unlovable. It's like, I don't like them, but at the same time, I find myself being sympathetic to them and then I feel distasteful. But I think the dialogue done in this movie is excellent, because it captures the essence of general sadness in corporate business and the hollow meaninglessness of upper middle class 60's life. Like, one of my favorite parts is when the 'main' character Don Draper is talking with his boss about the doom-and-gloom of the new generation:

Boss: I don't know-- Maybe every generation thinks the next one is the end of it all. I bet people in the Bible were walking around complaining about "kids today".

Don: Kids today. They have no one to look up to. Because they're looking up to us. 

I really like that. Like, really really like it. 

Overall? I think Mad Men is really great drama that gets you to care deeply for the characters and champion for some to succeed (like the secretary Peggy) or have hella conflicted feelings for others (like snobby and sexist but more-than-likely clinically depressed Pete). It has great dialogue and plot that, despite its premise, is just as exciting as Orange is the New Black in its own way. And it's just really fun to watch! Mad Men has just the right amount of heavy for me right now, because while I'm still about darker shows for a spell, I need a break from Attack on Titan. And gore in general. And anime, actually. There's just something about real actors that you just need every once and awhile, or at least, that's how it is for me.

Mad Men is like The Office, but with more backstabbing, and no one smiles except when they want something.

I AM IN LOVE 

Friday, April 4, 2014

March Favorites 2014!

God okay, so I skipped February. I feel like every one else did too though, so I don't feel quite as bad! What was it about February? I just felt like doing anything but writing about my favorites.

Anyway, I'll just get to it, hmm? Oh, and I'll try to keep my review hella short so you don't have to read my long rambling, but if you don't want to read my review, it's totally fine! Obviously, since it's in my favorites post, you're safe to assume that it's a good review ;D

BEAUTY PRODUCTS


I am literally obsessed with this product. I love it because it is vegan (because even you aren't one food-wise, it's always a good thing to look for in beauty products ^^), sulfate free, and dye free. It's made with coconut water and various other marine ingredients like seaweed, and in addition to removing your makeup and other funky stuff, it acts as a toner! FINALLY. And the bottle? Absolute perfection. I'm one of those people that buys products based 90% on how it looks! and this is such a simplistic design with this perfect turquoise, tropical bottle. And it smells divine, like fresh coconut, and the dye free product looks really cool, like a jellyfish or something in your hand? That's a weird description. And if you didn't already know, I have VERY sensitive skin that is prone to irritation breakouts, and this soap is really gentle on the skin while still deep-cleaning! and the marine active ingredients like seaweed mattify your face naturally :D

2. Soma Sensualities Hydrating Lotion (bought at Soma Intimates)

Also obsessed. I have almost the whole line (White Fig & Apricot, Sugar Rose & White Tea, and Soymilk & Orange Flower) and they're perfect! The fragrances are TO DIE FOR, the scent lasts a long time (lightly lingering on your skin like it's your natural smell, not overpowering or artificial)l and the formula leaves my skin feeling SO SOFT. Even if they were unscented, I would be in love, because the ingredients like coconut oil and Vitamins E and C make these the best lotions in my collection (and it's a big collection, trust me). And right now they're having a sale for $5 beauty products, and considering you get a good amount and the store is a pretty high-end lingerie boutique, it's a steal.

3. C. O. Bigelow Rose Salve No. 012 (bought at Bath & Body Works)

I am never getting another lip balm for night, ever. I love this stuff so much. There isn't much to say, except it's everything you can hope for in a lip balm. It smells so elegant, has a beautiful sheer pink pigment, goes on super smooth, stays on your lips for hours, and moisturizes out of this world. And what's more? You can use it for rough patches on your skin, your cuticles, even as a heavy-duty face salve like in the winter or something, which makes it totally worth the $5. My only issue is that it comes in a pot instead of a stick or a tube (which makes sense because of its multi uses) but I'm just not a big fan of pots because they're hard to get open and you have to get your finger all sullied :/ however, I usually just rub what's left into my cuticles so it's perf. 

MUSIC

1. Lights

I just found this artist a few days ago, but I think I'm in love. Her songs remind me a bit like some Florence + The Machine songs only on some acid. It has techno undertones, so I guess you can call it sync pop? Is that a thing people call sounds? iS THAT A THING?? Anyway, I would highly suggest you check out her album Siberia, and my favorite song so far is Flux and Flow

2. Blackmill

Most of their songs are so hecka chill, and I would compare them closely to Late Night Alumni. I love the mood their music gives, and it seems like something you would listen to in California light life or something, I don't know. I would also compare some of their songs to Lindsey Stirlings original songs like 'Crystallize' or 'Elements', so if you're fan of those two, I would check Blackmill out. My favorite songs is Let it Be ^^

3. Bow Wow Wow

I've loved Bow Wow Wow for a  long time, but I've never mentioned them in a favorites for who knows why, so I thought it was about time! They were an English 80's new wave band that has inspired a lot of the music of bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, and inspired one of the more famous RHCP lines, "Swimming in the sound of Bow Wow Wow". Their songs have content about the time period of the UK in the 1980's as well as the kind of grunge pop that was hella popular, mixed with Asian musical influences (the lead singer Annabella was born in Burma) as well as various African influences from some of the other members. I love listening to them to get happy and just feel generally cool, and my favorite songs are Aphrodisiac, Fools Rush In, and I Want Candy.

4. Siouxie and the Banshees

I feel like everyone needs to hear at least one Siouxie and the Banshees song, because they're just a really important band. Also, they're really good ^u^. They were (also) an English band created in 1976 reminiscent of Velvet Underground, and they are considered "a form of post-punk era discord full of daring rhythmic and sonic experimentation" that combined aspects of pop and avant-garde. They also were the foundation for the gothic genre (the old school kind, not to be confused with the modern subculture that came about with the character 'Crow' and the screamo genre ^^)  and inspired contemporaries like The Cure and The Psychedelic Furs (AND WHO DOESN'T LIKE THEM). Souixie Sioux's songs are just really cute okay? My favorites are Hong Kong Garden, Spellbound, and Night Shift

T.V SHOWS 


CAN I JUST. I highly recommend this anime, but let me just say that I am officially giving this the trigger warning it should have had at the beginning of the first episode. So: this anime contains very graphic death scenes, frightening images, blood, gore, and heartbreaking content. So if any of this stuff makes you uncomfortable or triggers you in any way, I would steer clear of this anime ^^. I had heard a lot about it, and after no consideration at all (because lets be real), I binge watched half the show. Which I do not recommend. Because it upset my stomach. Again, this show is very heavy in both its emotional themes and graphic content, so watching more than ten episodes is something I wouldn't condone. I would also recommend a happier entertainment at hand to take breaks every few episodes, because even though I wanted to continue and watch a lot in a row, I needed to LITERALLY TAKE A STEP BACK. But really, I love this show, and I'm very dedicated to the  characters (that have survived. Currently still getting over deaths. Check back soon) and the plot is very enthralling, creative, and just genuinely a great idea that is executed beautifully with an art style that some people don't like, but I personally think gives that much more to the mood of the show. 


OMG. THIS SHOW. I am so in love. It's a netflix original about a bunch of lesbians in jail getting into shenanigans, and things get hella real hella fast, aND IT IS SO GOOD. I spiritually identify with the main character Piper, but what makes this show great is that you can find a part of yourself in every one of those amazing women. I also like how they don't make them flawless as part of gender stereotypes (like the girls in Lost having hairless legs and looking perfectly tousled). Like, these girls look rough. Some have sunken eyes, some have shaved hair, or bloodshot eyes, or neck tattoos, stained teeth. PLUS THEY AREN'T FETISHIZED AND/OR MADE FUN OF FOR THEIR SEXUALITY. WHOA. WOW. You just need to watch it, k? 

----------------

So that's the end of my March Favorites! I'm really excited to share these with you, because they're all really great, and you will love them! I recommend ALL OF THEM IMMEDIATELY (except SNK; please consider your own situation before diving in, okay? I suggest a viewing buddy if you want to watch it but are cautious ^^). Kisses from me! <3


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Top Ten Underrated "Children's" Movies

Don't get me wrong, I loved Disney. I have seen literally every animated Disney movie, and many of the live-action ones. However, my family had a penchant for introducing me to highly obscure children's movies, mostly produced in the 1980's (because that seemed like a great time for animators to just blaze their own trails and do their thing, which obviously didn't work out so well, because I think I'm one of the only people who actually remember them). A lot of you will probably recognize one or two of these as cult classics or really weird movies you once saw on a single digit channel at three in the morning. 

Yes, those.

I think after you know that these movies shaped who I am today, A lot about my personality will start to make more sense. Or raise more questions. (These are in no particular order, by the way. I couldn't possibly rate them! However, I included #7 just to talk about it and its relation to children's movies/my childhood, and this movie can actually be triggering for some)

1. Time Bandits(1981)


I've seen this movie about twenty times, and I still don't fully understand. A young boy, Kevin (I loved Kevin, man), accidentally gets tangled up in a time-travelling adventure with treasure-hunting dwarves who have "borrowed" a map of the Universe's various time holes from The Supreme Being (no, not God). They meet amazing people from history, such as Agamemnon (PLAYED BY SEAN CONNERY FOR SOME REASON), Napoleon, and Robin Hood, and end up on the Titanic for a bit as well. In addition, they go into phantasmagorical worlds with tyrannical kings, and a terrifying giant which rattled me a bit tbh. Throughout the movie, The Evil Genius is trying to get his hands on the map as well and use it for sinister (well, more sinister) means. This movie doesn't get nearly enough recognition as some of its peers, like the Labyrinth (which, I'm sorry to argue, isn't that good of a movie to me), and I would highly recommend watching it, even though I actually highly recommend watching all the ones I'm going to list. It takes you away, much like the next two I'm going to mention,  and it's a bit like the familiar Peter Pan, only the pirates are the main characters. 

2. Dark Crystal (1982)


You cannot argue: Dark Crystal is Jim Henson's darkest story line EVER. I never really liked the muppets, because I wasn't exposed to it, but this was my uncle's favorite movie of all time, and it's the only Jim Henson I really know. This is another one that I can't really explain. It's set in another planet, in ancient times. A thousand years ago, the mysterious Dark Crystal was damaged by one of the Urskeks, an ancient race, and it began an age of chaos. The Skeksis, an evil race of grotesque lizard-birds now rule the fantastic world with an iron claw and shroud the world in darkness. Meanwhile, the orphan Jen, a humanoid Gelfling, is raised away from the world in the forests by a group of old peace-loving wizards called the Mystics, who raised him to know that there used to be a world before the Skeksis. Once the leader dies and tells Jen about the Dark Crystal, he embarks on a journey to find the missing shard of the Dark Crystal, which gives the Skeksis their powers, to restore light in the universe. He meets amazing people along the way, such as the Keeper of Secrets Aughra, and Kira, another Gelfling. I know, it sounds like a trip, but I would absulutely love it if you would try out this movie; it's fantasical, dark, and rife with loss and redemption. Definitely not exactly a children's movie, but that's never stopped my parents before.

3. The NeverEnding Story (1984)


Many of you already know this movie, and recognize it as a 'cult classic' film, much like Labyrinth. Bastian, a young boy who is tired of being bullied, goes into a bookstore and finds an ancient storybook. The shopkeeper tells him that the book can be dangerous, but Bastian steals the book anyway (as you do) and begins to read it in his attic where he is drawn into the magical, war-torn land of Fantasia, which desperately needs a hero to save it from destruction. One of the most famous friends he meets along the way is Falcor, the gentle Dog Dragon who is basically the most chill character in the entire movie. I mean, look at that face:


(PS If you don't let yourself get terrified by the Uncanny Valley-esque special effects, you will only be slightly uncomfortable as a result). 

4. The Secret of N.I.M.H (1982)


This movie messed me up. SO much. It was a great movie watching it as a child, but as an older person, I can see why my parents loved it, and why it is just so disturbing. The plot is that Mrs. Frisby is a mouse that lives in a garden, and raises her children by herself after her husband's death. Her son Timothy falls deathly ill right before the family has to move for crop season, and it's a race against the clock to find a cure before either her son dies or the whole family does at the hands of the farmer. The Great Owl advises her to visit a group of mysterious rats who live beneath a rose bush on the farm, and upon visiting, she meets Nicodemus, the wise leader of the rats, and Justin, a friendly rat who immediately becomes attached to her. Here is the twisted part: she soon discovers that the rats, along with her late husband, were part of a series of volatile experiments at a facility called N.I.M.H (the National Institute of Mental Health). The rats possess off-the-charts intelligence, allowing them to read and understand complex mechanics. A battle of dominance between the rats ensues as to whether they should leave the rosebush with Mrs. Frisby and live away from the humans or stay. Literally, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A CHILDREN'S MOVIE. And yet, it features governmental experiments which render these rats super-intelligent and jaded with humanity, establish their own heirarchy, and then later feature a faction war between the rebels who want to take over and probably destroy the humans of N.I.M.H. Whether you think this is an okay kids' movie or not, it's a must-see for people who like psychology or the effects of experimentation and sociology.

 5. Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (1992)


Now this, is actually something you could actually feel decent about giving to your children without them being traumatized. Wow, what a change from the other movies!! In this movie, the fairy people of the rain forest Ferngully have never seen a human before, but when the fairy princess Chrysta sees one, Zak, she accidentally shrinks him down to her size. The the trouble is, Zak was one of the loggers who came to cut down Ferngully. And as he's having his own adventure, the rest of his logging team decides to cut down the oldest tree in the forest, which just HAPPENED to be large, twisted, and slightly oozing black oil. When they cut it down, it frees Hexxus, an evil creature who once tried to destroy Ferngully and was imprisoned in the tree for his chaotic ways. This movie is so beautiful in the setting and the animation, and beyond that, it has a really nice, relatable message to kids about the importance of the environment and the rain forests. One of the things movie makers struggle with when they want to send a big message to kids is that it usually completely goes over their heads (ie, Wall-E or Happy Feet) and mainly hits the older audiences. Ferngully does such an amazing job, because it gets you to really see the crisis with the rain forests without getting really dark and momentarily scaring kids (Happy Feet) or creating an apocalyptic future that only adults will get the gravity of (Wall-E).

6. Black Cauldron (1985)


Yes, it is a Disney movie. Sadly, though, that doesn't mean it's a well-known staple in everyone's childhood. On the contrary, this is by far the least popular animated Disney movies, and barely anyone remembers it. I can sort of understand why it wasn't as successful, because it was pretty scary. It wasn't overly scary, but you see the other movies I've seen, so it isn't a stretch to say I was mostly desensitized at a young age. Even so, The Horned King is still pretty terrifying to me, and his castle isn't too far behind. I mean, look at that.



Okay, so you can't really tell and you have no reason to trust me on this, but my heart is siezing up, and I am getting short of breath, just from looking up Horned King on Google Images. I can't handle him. I can't deal with him, and I don't want to. Anyway, the plot is this: In the medieval land of Prydain, a young man named Taran is tasked with caring for Hen Wen, a magical oracular pig (I know), who knows the location of the powerful Black cauldron, which has the power to reanimate the dead. This task Taran has isn't an easy one, because the Horned King will stop at nothing to find the Black Cauldron and reanimate his decaying army. His dragons kidnap Hen Wen and takes her to the castle. Taran follows, and meets up with a captured Princes Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur (basically the best human character in this movie), and my role model in life, Gurgi. No one knows what Gurgi is, but it doesn't matter. Gurgi is everything. He is my religion, my life, my love. Oh, and Creature, the abused goblin servant of the Horned King, is probably the cutest thing ever, in a disgusting and pitiful way. Really, a classic.

7. Watership Down (1978)


NEVER LET YOUR KIDS WATCH THIS MOVIE I AM SERIOUS. LITERALLY, I AM TELLING YOU, IT WILL F*CK THEM UP. I DON'T USUALLY GET THIS CRASS, BUT IT REALLY F*CKED ME UP. I HAVE WAR FLASHBACKS FROM THIS MOVIE. I HAD A MILD FORM OF PTSD FOR A WHILE AFTER WATCHING THIS MOVIE WHEN I WAS 7. NEVER LET A CHILD WATCH THIS MOVIE. EVER.

Okay, have you got that in your head? Good. Now, onto the metacognitive. This movie was so mentally scarring for me, that I watched it once at my grandma's house a decade ago, and still remember it. But, I actually consider it one of the best war movies ever made. Even though it's about rabbits. I'm going to go directly for the official summary here: "Based upon Richard Adam's novel of the same title, this animated feature delves into the surprisingly violent world of a warren of rabbits as they seek to establish a new colony free of tyranny and human intervention. Frightening and bloody in some scenes. Not recommended for young children." Isn't that lovely. It's considered one of the most violent PG-rated movies ever created, and if it had been made now, it would be at least PG-13 (more likely R). It shows the grim 'reality' (in all truth, rabbits aren't like this with each other. However, it is more of a reality than some movies portray) that the rabbits face. Rabbits certainly don't battle to the death with each other, but many heartbreaking deaths in this movie are very real, such as being killed by dogs and traps, falcons and humans. To go more in depth, the storyline revolves around Fiver, a young rabbit who is a seer, and his loving brother Hazel. Fiver senses his warren will be destroyed soon, but when they fail to convince their leader to evacuate, they and a small band of others embark on a dangerous journey rife with danger from predators, humans, and even their own kind. What is left of their group eventually finds a peaceful home in Watership Down, but problems arise with a neighboring warren called Efrafa, which is a police state lead by the dangerous and insane General Woundwart. Other themes include religion and death personified as the Black Rabbit of Inle. Yeah, there is so much death that it needs the character Death. I don't want to talk about this movie anymore, because I count it as one of the scariest movies I have ever seen.



8. The Witches (1990)


Thank god, lets get back to something a little nicer. This movie still deals in things with villians and things that go bump in the night, and like most of these movies, it could be a little frightening for a young child (though someone 10 and up, speaking generally, would be totally fine with this movie). Its about a young boy who is taken to England with his grandmother. At the hotel they stay at, a group of witches have gathered to their queen to plot to rid the world of all children. When the witches find out the boy has been aware of their plans, they turn him and his friend at the hotel into mice, and they must defeat the witches from their furry states. It's just the right level of scary for a little kid who likes to be a little frightened, but giggle at the same time; I loved it, even though the witches' pension for poison and murder sort of made me uncomfortable. 

9. The Rescuers (1977)

I absolutely love this movie. Again, another Disney movie no one really remembers, but everyone should. It starts out at the UN building, and then we travel down below to a UN meeting with mice from all around the world, in their little meeting room!!!!!! IT IS SO ADORABLE, and they call themselves the Rescue Aid Society. When they address a message in a bottle, which is a call for help from a kidnapped girl named Penny, the brave Hungarian representative Bianca (one of my favorite characters ever) and her chosen partner, the shy janitor Bernard, set out to the Devil's Bayou where poor Penny is being forced by her kidnapper Madame Medusa to go down into a dangerous pirate cave to find the Devil's Eye, a huge diamond that will make her rich. I love this movie. *sigh*

10. An American Tail (1986)

 

I didn't know that this wasn't a popular movie until about three months ago, to be completely honest. I lived in a bubble. A BUBBLE. 
Anyway, this adorable movie (which features some subtle things about the hardships of immigration during the 19th-20th century) focuses on the Mousekowitz family, a russian mouse family who are going to a new life in America. However, getting off the ship, they get separated from their son Fievel, who is the main character. They thought that the land was without cats, and that was why people called it the Promise Land, but in reality, CATS ARE FREAKING EVERYWHERE. The movie is Fievel's adventures trying to find his family, meeting new friends (one of whom is the most adorable chubby cat ever), and facing discrimination from the American mice. Extended metaphor? Oh yes. I love it. 




FIN

Alright, there it is. The movies that have made me the imaginative, childish, eco-friendly, slightly morbid, and sometimes altogether terrifying girl I have come to be.

WATCH THEM ALL. JOIN ME.
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EXCEPT FOR WATERSHIP DOWN. DON'T WATCH THAT ONE.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Favorites 2014!

I feel like I'm really late in doing this, because it's already technically February, but when have I been one to follow the rules?

Always. Which is why I feel so uncomfortable. But whatever.

So, I thought I could do these monthly? I certainly have enough time on my hands! I will try to put the stuffs into five categories, which I will try to fill every month (Unless I don't have anything in one category; then I would put in an additional guest category. (Sound too structured and a bit claustrophobic? Good.)

1. Beauty

    Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream

Okay, this is actually way more expensive than I would usually spend, but it was around Christmas and things were happening and I got caught up in that blasted Sephora and then this happened. But I really love it for carrying around in my purse, and it smells like what I imagine the Coach store to smell like, or something outrageous like that. It goes on really smooth, lightly fragrances my skin (without overpowering my perfume), and moisturizes my skin for hours after. It comes in a tiny tube, and I'm about halfway through it, and I'm kind of having a mental breakdown. You know, the kind when you love the product, but would hate yourself too much for actually re-purchasing. I'm not emotionally able to handle splurging because I get attached to the product, but cannot really afford making it a staple in my beauty drawer. Oh, what a cruel, cruel world I live in.

     Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

Basically having the same dilemma as above. I absolutely love the smell of this, and the bottle literally makes me tear up from the beauty. The website states, "The classic bottle signifies personal luxury and is a welcome addition to any dressing table" and it isn't wrong. It's light and slightly sweet, but at the same time is able to embody the signature seductiveness that is trademark of Chanel anything. I actually prefer this over the Chanel No 5, which is actually less expensive than the Mademoiselle. But it's such a light, pearly pink that compliments the fragrance SO well. I'd be lying if I said I don't pause and lovingly stroke the frosted glass and gilded edges of the bottle every morning before I put it on. I really have a problem. Help.

     Sweet on Paris by Bath and Body Works

I am terribly sorry, but I just looked on their website, and they discontinued the Sweet on Paris line. The link takes you to the main site, if you would like to check out their other fragrances (I REALLY love Velvet SugarPink Chiffon, and Enchanted Orchid). I'm actually raving about their entire lotion collection, and I actually find Velvet Sugar to be very close to the scent I'm talking about now. Specifically, their Aromatherapy Collection (The only lotions I use on my arms right now are from this collection). I love their regular lotions, and Sweet on Paris is my absolute favorite. The back of the bottle says, "An enticing medley of juicy blackberry, lemon meringue, and creamy vanilla, inspired by the sweet temptations of a Parisian patisserie." (There is a big stock on eBay of you want to try it out). It reminds me of sugary macaroons or white chocolate; light, yet extremely rich, confections. I always think of the song "Aphrodisiac" by Bow Wow Wow when I put this on.

     Noir Tease by Victoria's Secret

I got the travel size of this a while ago on sale, and I recently got really into it. Definitely on the pricey side for a body mist, especially for me. I know a few people who really like body mist, because they come in a large quantity for less, compared to perfume, but body mists are mainly just watered down. They don't last nearly as long, and so you have to actually use a lot more than you would perfume. This really evens up what you get for what you spend, and so I just prefer to apply a perfume once than a body mist regularly. However, I really do like the mists from Victoria's Secret, because they're usually high quality, and smell very exotic and unique. This one is boudoir-inspired, and blends black vanilla with crisp pear and gardenia. I like to spray it through my hair, which holds the smell all day and makes my hair not look like I don't care much about it!

    Volume Express The Falsies by Maybelline

I have another mascara that I really like by Benefit (which I got for free from Sephora on my birthday), but it was running out, and I definitely did not want to buy it for the actual price of $25. I was frantically looking for a mascara that worked as well, but I could get at the drugstore. I had heard really great things about The Falsies, and when I finally got around to trying it, and I LOVE IT! It admit, the funky-looking bent brush gets some getting used to, but the mascara gives you great volume, stays on even when you have a nervous breakdown and start crying on the highway (driving is hard man), and is super easy to wash off. It left no residue under my eyes, and took like three seconds to wash off. I think I've found the Chosen One.

   2. Music

     Marina and the Diamonds

I've heard a few of her songs over the past month or so, but this January, I've become obsessed. She has this great empowering feel to her lyrics that makes you want to wear a puffy tutu with a leather jacket and like kill someone, but in a good way. Her songs talk about oversexualization of women in the media, the stereotype of women as heartbreakers, and the paradox of loving pink. My favorite songs: Bubblegum BitchSex YeahPrimadonna, Teen Idle, and Starring Role.

     Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey has been pretty popular lately, especially with her addition to the Great Gatsby Soundtrack, and her solemn songs with twisted lyrics and insidiously cheery music. Her storylines for the songs are tortured, and feature heavy topics like falling in love with a criminal, drugs, drinking, depression, and the solace she finds in these things. My Favorite songs: Off to the RacesThis is What Makes Us GirlsDiet Mountain DewBody Electric,  Video Games, and Once Upon a Dream, which is the haunting theme song for the Maleficent movie!

     Lily Allen

Lily Allen's songs are a bit of a shock, because the lyrics are pretty crass, but the tune is very 60's pop, and listening to her makes me feel really happy, and not like I want to curl up and softly weep (Lookin' at you, Lana). Again, I have always known about her, but only recently have I really been <3 about her. Her songs are very sweet, but at the same time have an acidic bite that makes you smile. My favorite songs: Not FairF You, and Who'd Have Known (But be warned, the Who'd Have Known video is a bit.....unexpected)

    Lorde

I know some people who really don't like Lorde (yeah, you know who you are), but I really love her latest album, Pure Heroine (which I think is extremely clever), and her music is...well, different? It blends the traditional bedroom pop with flashes of lone vocals and electro-rock. Her music is sometimes made up of nothing but different pitches of her voice, and sometimes is blended with tech and the contrast is dark and beautiful; her lyrics are rattle-nerve and a bit languid, like floating in a dark pool of water. Many people got sick of her hit Royals (can we blame them?) but this left her album in its entirety underrated. My favorite songs: 400 LuxTennis CourtGlory and Gore, and The Love Club.

   S. J. Tucker

I've been a huge fan of SJ for a super duper long time, but this is about her new album Wonders, which blew me away. Her music is very fairy folk, with earthy beats and a smokey voice and style reminiscent of Fiona Apple, and with the heart of Joni Mitchell. Her website says her style is "Pixie Pirate Mythpunk Folk Rock", which is drool-worthy. My favorite songs (from this album, which is linked above and includes the full version of all the songs): Glashtyn Shanty, The Great Velocipede Migration, For Iago, and September Morning Bell (inspired by the book "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making")


3. Books

   The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Long title, I know. I had to type it twice, so I know better than anyone. But really, this is the cutest book I have read in a super long time! If you want to check out the detailed summary, click the link, but overall. It features a dragon/library hybrid, the Green Winds, the Leopard of Little Breezes, a strange boy named Saturday, a fickle and cruel little Marquess, and a brave heroine named September. The song by SJ that is based off this book, again, is called September Morning Bell (find link above ^^) If you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland, Golden Compass, Inkheart, or Howl's Moving Castle, this book is a must.

  Jane Eyre

Okay, okay, I know. She's a pompous nerd. How can she actually recommend a classic??? I actually re-read this this month (Don't look at me like that. There's a reason I'm going to major in Lit) and I think it is a such a fantastic book. It's full of dark secrets and the tale of a sad little orphan who finds her way over the course of many years, and I must confess, my favorite part is when she is little and gets brutally locked in the Red Room. It was such a terrifying scene and every time I read it, my heart beats a little faster as she gets more frantic to get out. Other favorites include the abbey in the mountains, and her encounter with the ghost of Thornfield. A truly gothic novel, I enjoy it thoroughly.

  Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

Probably the most underrated short novel ever. Like, seriously. I heard about it from history, and I was so interested, I decided to read it. It was written in the late 19th century by a man who wanted to uncover the tragedy of tenements and poor immigrant workers in Industrial America during the Gilded Age. Its a VERY heady book, and it is very sad. Maggie is a beautiful girl who "blossomed in a mug puddle", and is eventually forced into prostitution, and...well, I don't want to spoil anything, but you can infer that sadness is a big part of it. One part I particularly loved was when she looked up at the night sky and spat, "The moon looks like shit". I thought it was so sad that he conveyed her lack of hope through this, and it really stuck with me. It's short, but please take your time to read it? For me?

4. Food

  Butternut Squash & Coconut Chickpea Curry

I LOVE this recipe. I made it a few days ago, with help from my mom (It takes about seven hours to make with a crock pot, so I threw the recipe together and mom watched it while I was at school). I loved it, and I served it over rice, though I think it could be pretty good over noodles if needed. I also used soy milk instead of  coconut milk, because I really dislike coconut and thought it turned out great.

    Kale Strawberry Orange Smoothie

Anything added with kale is good, so I don't know why I included the recipe tbh. I just add kale, greek yogurt, and any fruit I have in my fridge. Raspberries, blueberries, banana, blackberries, tomatoes.....Okay, no tomatoes, but you get what I mean ^^ it's incredibly healthy, and nice and sweet.

   Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls

What? I do what I want. Just buy them, make them, and feel amazing. Eat them all the time if you want. Feed your chi.



Okay, so that was only four, but oh well. I really hoped you enjoyed it, because this list took awhile to make, and yeah. My fingers are super tired.




 

 























Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Stages of Musical Taste

Don't worry, guys! No more playlist posts! At least, until I can't stand it any longer, and am forced to do it via uncontrollable genetic programming. (You should probably tell me if I should restrain myself)

But you know that moment when you're looking through old YouTube playlists, and you find one that you totally forgot about? Or an old station on Pandora? And so you listen to it, and you think it's going to be all fun and games and nostalgia, and IT IS NOT. Your magnificent forgotten music taste eats you up and sucks into the VOID OF SONGS YOU FORGOT EXISTED. AND ITS JUST A GREAT TIME. 

I had totally forgotten that I had listened to a song called Majesty of Decay by The Burns Unit FOUR HUNDRED TIMES. I had forgotten that the lyrics had been tattooed onto my ear drums. Or that band The Mountain Goats that no one had heard of before John Green made them mildly more popular, not really? I had forgotten how obsessed I had been about their song Love Love Love; the one where they describe Kurt Cobain killing himself so nicely, in such a way that I had wanted to make it my valedictorian speech? By God, I had even forgotten about the band Eddie From Ohio. 

I've been listening to these songs for two days straight, and let me tell you, this is the one time when I am not ashamed of my past self. 

I can even remember how I found out about all these great artists. I had watched the movie He's Just Not That Into You (you know, the one with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Afleck, Drew Barrymore, EVERY OTHER PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD, and ScarJo before she was Black Widow? You know the one), and I had loved the soundtrack so much. So, naturally, I went to the library and burned the CD to my iPod. The song Madly by Tristan Prettyman was my favourite, so I decided to make a station on Pandora to find songs similar to it without actually doing any work. 

I sculpted this beautiful playlist over months, and pretty soon, it knew me better than my own family. 

Then I just completely forgot about it. 

UNTIL NOW. 

You know, I cannot even explain how many phases of music I have went through. When I was little, as in 2-9, I would only listen to Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar, and Disney Princess songs. Then, I went through this phase where I.....ok wait, that phase actually lasted a lot longer than I thought. But anyways, there was like a two year bit where I was only exposed to American Idol songs, so I still have those in my old MP3 player and cringe when I look at it. Then, the phase where I only listened to the Hairspray and HSM soundtracks. I'm still a bit in that phase, though, to be honest. But aren't we all??

Then my God-awful country phase. But at least I wasn't alone in that one. You know who you are, old friend. (This also includes the Taylor Swift phase, who we all now know as the Queen of internalized misogyny ^u^)

Then the Blurred Years, where I had no idea who I was. I don't even know, man. I don't even know. What even is Owl City.

And now, I have at LEAST 20+ genres in me. I like Lady Gaga and One Direction (I'm comfortable with who I am), but I also like Sleeping With Sirens and Awolnation, and also Mumford & Sons, and also bands no one knows about like Last Tuesday Weld and Port O'Brien, and of course Florence + the Machine, Owl City, and Lorde, and who can forget classical music and the punk songs from ballets like Swan Lake or FREAKING MUSICALS LIKE HAIRSPRAY AND ALSO HAIRSPRAY AND I GUESS PHANTOM OF THE OPERA OR PERHAPS LES MISÉRABLES and then there's P!nk or the trippy stuff like Foster the People or the downright psychedelic like St. Vincent, and Bastille is on my mind all the freaking time, and Disney songs are still my favourite, and you know, I will always have a Stevie Nicks poster from 1986 on my wall, and Love is a Battlefield is still the most metal song ever. 

But no country. 

NO COUNTRY. 

Although, I would have to say, my favourite song ever? EVAR???!?!


YEAH!!!!!!!

 (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧   


Friday, December 6, 2013

Books. And Winter. But Mostly Winter Books.

Hello lovelies!

I have been really excited to post this, because, yes, I am one of those diabolical people that re-reads books every holiday season. I get tangled up in books because they make me all warm and fuzzy, and sometimes, there are special books that I read in the winter that I just can't stay away from no matter how many times I read it. I hope you get as much out of these books as I do; but if you don't, well then. It's okay to have your wrong opinion.

1. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan


This book came out in 2009 (???) and I've read it every year since. I've read it about seven times, though, because one year, I was snowed in and ended up reading it about three times because why not? It's about these two highschoolers in New York during Christmas, who have never met each other; the only thing they have in common is their favourite bookstore, the Strand. One day, Dash is browsing the bookshelf, and finds a red moleskin journal. In it, the first page simply reads: 
"I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”


Lily is one of my FAVOURITE book characters OF ALL TIME. She loves Christmas, and wears really crazy socks, and wears really fabulous outfits, and gets too attached to animals. I feel her struggle on a spiritual level. They say that you get more attached to books where the characters are most like you, and let me tell you, I have actually never felt more like a character than Lily. Lily is everything. Dash, is, ah, an acquired taste. He's quite the hipster. And if you have read David's other works, you will find this atypical anti-society hipster hero in all of them (Him and Cohn also collabed in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist).They throw out words like "Bolshevik" and talk like a character in Macbeth, and think family is SO last season. Pretentious, this one definitely is. But he grows on you, I think. 

But what I really like about this book is its imagery, and the overall feelings it gives you as you read it. You want to snuggle up in a bookstore (though your living room will do) and sip hot chocolate from a wineglass or something. I don't know. You know what I mean? 

"I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened

2. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauran Myracle.


A lot of people don't like collections of stories, but what I like about this one is how they all take place in the same town, on the same night, in the same blizzard. All the three tales are interconnected by a Waffle House, and the stories all weave together nicely. I like how these stories have that sweet, ABCFamily special feel, which I normally don't like, but quirker and funnier, as well as more genuine. I found the first story to be especially adorable which began the blizzard and trek to the Waffle House haven (written by Maureen Johnson). 

"Debbie had to get up and slice me a thick piece of cake before she could answer. And I do mean thick. Harry Potter volume seven thick. I could have knocked out a burglar with this piece of cake. Once I tasted it, though, it seemed just the right size.” 

3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


This is one of those books specially made for bibliophiles, and it's imagery is wonderful. It isn't Christmas-related, but it's filled with grand mansions and old books and fireplaces, set in the backdrop of a twisted English family. A woman, Margaret, who runs a bookstore with her father gets a letter from famous novelist, Vida Winter, who wants her to write down her life story before she dies. Vida is most famous for publishing a strange book of twelve dark tales, called "Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation". The whole world has been thirsting after the missing thirteenth tale ever since she published it decades ago, and over the course of the novel, she tells it to Margaret. She shares with Margaret the dark secrets her family had had for years, including the insane Charles, the feral twins Adeline and Emmaline, and a tragic fire. It recalls a lot of elements from Jane Eyre, so if you like the Brontë sisters, then do check out this book? This book is definitely haunting and probably one the most compelling mysteries I have ever read. Everytime I read it, I find something new that just makes the end make even more sense, and I want to just throw a pillow at how CLEVER IT IS. GOD.  

But silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words. Without them they grow pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you.” 

4. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis


Okay, I'm 99% sure all of you know the synopsis of this book, so I won't bother you with my horrible attempt to summarize this amazing book. (I feel really horrible at summarizing books I love; it's like, the better the book, the more I have to try to cram all these good things about it into a few sentences while also not spoiling anything. You know? YOU KNOW?!) Anyway, this is such a magical book to read, especially during the wintertime. It seems like this is the book people always reread this time of year, and it think it goes back to visiting that amazing other world on the other side of a wardrobe that you always searched for when getting your clothes ready in the morning. When I was really little and lived in another houses than I do now, I had this huge mahogany wardrobe that I had my little cute toddler clothes in, and I would always crawl inside and wait. Like, "COME ON ASLAN GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER. I AM WAITING."

But anyway. Yes. Narnia. Love it. 

"I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.”

5. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien 


I don't know about you guys, but this was literally my childhood. My dad is a HUGE J.R.R Tolkien fan, so I grew up wearing the VHS versions of The Lord of the Rings out. I was even a nazgul for Halloween when I was seven. Like. It was ridiculous. I loved Frodo and Sam, but my favourite character was Bilbo. I loved The Hobbit best out of all the books, because I identified with him. I would have totally resisted too, if this whole pod of stinky dwarves showed up and barged in and started singing in my living room without even asking me. Are you kidding? And I loved the scene when Bilbo first encounters Smaug; I loved that scene most, to be honest. It was right up there with the first chapter. I wanted to live in a hobbit hole soooo bad! Didn't you?? 

I love the whimsical way he words things, and everytime I read it, I feel like I'm part of Thorin's Company. I'm one with these great adventures and slaying dragons and tricking Gollum and going into the goblin kingdom. What's extra special is rereading it from the book my dad has owned for like thirty years. It's worn and faded and about to fall apart, and I lurv it.

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
————————————
"I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air, I am he that walks unseen.

I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number.

I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me.

I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider.” 


And that's the end of the list! I probably should have opened the list to just "Books I Like", but I wanted it to be holiday-themed, and I thought the books I reread would be a much shorter list. I have a lot of homework to do, can you blame me?! 

Now, go read these books! I'll be doing the same ^^



Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Very Winter-y Playlist

Hello, everyone! My friend was talking about putting a winter playlist on his blog Snorkeling in a Bathtub sometime soon, and so I thought I might try my hand in it ^^ I listen to a lot of various songs from a whole range of genres, so for that reason, organizing them would have been a task too great for little old me. However, I HAVE separated songs that are directly related to the holiday season below the main playlist, which just includes songs I'm listening to right now/remind me of winter. Enjoy! (Oh, and I have linked the playlists on YouTube for the Winter Playlist and the Holiday Playlist at the end of each section!)

Bubblegum Bitch // Marina and the Diamonds

Thistle & Weeds // Mumford & Sons

Winter Winds // Mumford & Sons

Little Lion Man // Mumford & Sons

White Blank Page // Mumford & Sons

Almost Lover // A Fine Frenzy

The Village Green Preservation Society // Kate Rusby

Ottoman // Vampire Weekend

Bad Blood // Bastille

Icarus // Bastille

These Streets // Bastille

Carmen // Lana Del Rey

Blue Jeans // Lana Del Rey

Bottom of the River // Delta Rae

Snow Mazes of Norway // Jenny Dalton 

The District Sleeps Alone at Night // Birdy

Young Blood // Birdy

Terrible Love // Birdy

Ice Wine // Lia Ices

I Just Wanna Run // the Downtown Fiction

Speeding Cars // Imogen Heap

Home // Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

Let Her Go // Passenger

Mouthwash // Kate Nash

Riverside // Agnes Obel

Girl From the North Country // Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

Icarus // White Hinterland

Once Upon Another Time // Sara Bareilles

Were-Owl // S.J Tucker

What the Water Gave Me // Florence + the Machine

You Really Got a Hold On Me // She & Him

You're So Vain // Carly Simon

Pot Kettle Black // Tilly and the Wall

Aphrodisiac // Bow Wow Wow

Nerdfighterlike // Hank Green

Misty // Johnny Mathis

Winter Playlist Clicky Link Thing

Actual Holiday Music

Winter Song // Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson 

Winter Wonderland // Ella Fitzgerald

Happy Xmas (War is Over) // Vanessa Carlton

Carol of the Bells // Celtic Woman

The Christmas Song // the Raveonettes 

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas // Bing Crosby

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas // Frank Sinatra

The whole album A very She & Him Christmas by She & Him 

The whole album Under the Mistletoe by Good Lovelies (which is not available on YouTube, so I have the whole album linked below the playlist link if you want to check it out. Which you should.)

Holiday Playlist Clicky Link Thing

Good Lovelies Album

And in case this wasn't enough, here is the Christmas radio link I usually listen to this time of year on Pandora:

Holiday Radio

Happy listening, sweeties! I'll be getting around very soon with another winter related post soon (perhaps my favourite books to read in the winter?), but till then:









<<< Look at this slightly disturbing picture of a winter baby I found on Google Images. Rejoice in it. Worship it. Fear it.