Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Long time no talk! Life is so crazy right now. I did not expect joining a sorority would require so much time, but it’s so fun! The last two weeks were test and essay week and it was so stressful, but guess what! I got an A on all of my exams, I’m starting this year off right :) If you’re in school, do you guys have weeks where you won’t have any tests or essays due and then all of a sudden in the same week you’ll have a bunch of tests and essays due? That’s what happens here. I need to get better at time management, maybe I’ll make a post about it so I can get myself in check. Well, anyway, let’s not babble on for forever. I am back today with a review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Summary: Cinder by Marissa Meyer, is a book based on the Disney fairy-tale Cinderella set in a future, New China. The main character, Cinder, is a cyborg, a race that is discriminated against who works as a mechanic to help make money to support her step mother and two step sisters. Like Cinderella, the step father takes in an adoptive daughter and dies leaving the step mother to take care of this unwanted child. There are many similarities to the Disney Cinderella fairytale, but there are differences that I think will come into play when the author ties all of the stories together to help fight the Lunars. This is also a utopian/dystopian style novel, where we are in a future that’s supposed to be grand after a war but there are still kinks that need to be worked out.  

My thoughts: It was good but not amazing. I didn’t have that high of expectations so I wasn’t that disappointed in the novel. I am excited to see how the author ties all the books together but I’m not in a hurry to read the next ones. (I don’t binge read series. I’ll read a book in a series, buy the next one if it’s in paperback and then wait to read it until the next book is out in paperback. Does anyone else do something similar?) I did like how the book was loosely based on Cinderella, it wasn’t an exact replica but you could pick out themes from Cinderella. I wonder if the other books in the series will be in the same city or if they will be different…hmm.

Recommend: Yes, although I didn't think it was amazing, I do think it was a good, easy read. Being so busy with school, reading something that is quick and easy is nice to have sometimes. I also think that if you like futuristic novels, this might also be a good read for you; as well as if you like to read different versions of fairytales. Utopian/dystopian books are really popular these days and this novel would also go into that genre, so if you like those style books you may also like this book.

Have you guy’s read this book? What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

What's on my phone?

Am I the only person who is super curious and love looking and seeing what people have in their purses, their drawers, and even their phones? I don’t know, but I know I love watching the what’s in my bag videos on YouTube as well as the what’s on my phone videos. I’m not an iPhone person (no offense to those who love iPhone) but I have IOS and just prefer Android over Apple. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4; this is not my first Android nor will it be my last. I’ve had an Android for a good 6 years now so I know the operating system and know the apps that I love. If you’re looking for a new phone and don’t want an iPhone, I recommend a Samsung, HTC or LG G3 phone depending on what’s important to you. Can we stop and talk about the new Galaxy Note 4? The advertisement for it is hilarious and it looks like an awesome phone.

So anyway, enough babbling, I’m going to show and talk about what’s on my phone. I won’t go through all the apps, but I will talk about my favorites. I will have pictures at the very end that show my menu so that you can see all of my apps.

Lock Screen
My Home Screen is Barcelona, Spain because I really want to go to Spain. I found the background on a travel backgrounds application (I don't remember which one, sorry)! The applications on the bottom are the most important Applications and ones that I tend to like to reach easily. So I have my phone (which also leads to contacts and what not), Snapchat, Go SMS Pro, Camera, and the App Drawer or menu. Go SMS Pro is my all-time favorite messaging application. I have been using this app the whole time I’ve had an Android and has followed me to all my phones at some point in the phone’s life. I highly recommend it, I also use the Emoji plug-in for the application as well as different themes.

Home Screen
This is the screen with my most used applications and it is not set up like a typical galaxy. At the top I have my clock, set to military time because it’s what I’m used to. The first application is Instagram which I used to use all the time but lately I haven’t been as into it. But it’s still on my home screen. My second application is Pinterest. My. Addiction. I love Pinterest, I am always killing time on it. It’s been acting up for the past two months, none of the updates have fixed the issues :( I’m hoping that soon they’ll fix the issues because this is my favorite application. The next two I have are Tumblr (another longtime favorite) and Facebook because who doesn’t have these on their phone? I love music so I have Pandora and Spotify on quick reach so I can quickly get music going if I don’t want to listen to my own. I also have my banking app (USAA), Gmail, Chrome and Gallery so I can find those easier.

Left Home Screen
These are apps I use, but not as often. The top widget it my Google Play Music for my personal music which I keep on the Google Play cloud because I only have 6 gigabytes of free memory on my phone so I need to make sure that’s saved for applications and photos. I don’t like how the stock alarm clock won’t make noise if I have my phone on vibrate or silent -__- so I downloaded the Alarm Clock Xtreme free and it works well, but I mean it’s just an alarm clock. Also, if we want to order food from on campus dining areas, we can use our phones so that is what Tapingo is for. Flixster is my favorite movie application for finding show times and I’ve tried many. I also like cheap gas so I got GasBuddy to help me find the cheapest gas in my area. I also have the Bible application which is, in my opinion, the best Bible application. The rest of the Applications are productivity applications that I don’t like going into the App Drawer to find, so things like calculator, calendar, and Google Drive.

Right Home Screen
This is the Home Screen that I keep a lot more widgets on. My google search bar is at the top of the screen. I use The Weather Channel app for my weather needs and have this widget so that I can easily find the temperature. Remember how I said I love music? I use the Shazaam app to identify music on the radio; I used to use the Verizon application for it, but they removed it so I began using Shazaam and to be honest…I like it more. I like that it comes with this widget button that I can just press and hold to find the song and I don’t have to wait to long for the app to load and possibly miss the song. I also have the assistive light widget, it’s just an off/on button for my flashlight on the phone. Other notable apps include YouTube, Plume for Twitter, and Google+ Hangouts. Kitty Play is the app I use to get themes for my messaging app. I am also currently trying out inhabit (habit tracker) and Viggle (a music application) so I don’t have opinions on that yet.

The rest of the pictures are of my application menu, this shows all the applications on my phone: all the Samsung and Verizon Bloatware and other applications that I have downloaded that I don’t feel are important enough to be on the Home Screen.


Tell me, what are your favorite applications and what kind of phone do you have?
Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Empties #1

I love watching these videos and reading empties posts. I think it’s so interesting to see what people have used up and what they loved and what they just used because they spent money on them. Now I don’t buy a lot of new stuff, but I do have empties every now and again (it takes me FOREVER) to go through stuff and when I do, everything runs out at the same time. So here is empties number one!

#1 Remove Make-Up Wipes from Kroger
I’m not particular about make-up wipes, I just want ones that don’t break me out, remove my make-up, and don’t burn. At first I really liked these. The wipes themselves are really soft and have a pleasant scent, and the first maybe ten wipes didn't burn my eyes but then towards the end of the package, it started burning! It wasn't so bad that I couldn't use them, but it did get uncomfortable at times. But they didn't break me out, so that’s a plus!

#2 Not-your-mothers Sea Salt Spray

I love this stuff! I haven’t used any other sea salt spray so I can’t compare, sorry guys. But I’ve used a good 3 or 4 bottles of it now, basically since it started being sold in my Walmart. I have a weird curly hair (when it’s longer) and when it just dries naturally it has some wavy pieces, some straight pieces, some super curly pieces and it just looks weird. This gives a nice a beach-y wavy look, and defines and separates curls and adds a really nice texture. I love that messy, crazy curly look, and this basically gives me that.

#3 Organix Renewing Moroccan Argon Oil

I use a lot of Moroccan Argon oil since I do have curly hair, it gets really frizzy and really, really big. So this kind of tames it and adds a nice bit of shine. I do feel like my hair is a lot healthier when I am using an oil, and it is definitely a lot softer. As for the frizz, well it works for a while but you can really only tame frizzy hair for bit…especially if you live in a really humid place.

#4 Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Shampoo
I know the label has been peeled off, sorry I got bored in the shower one day. But trust me, this is Herbal Essences. Like my make-up wipes I’m not too particular about my shampoo. I mean really, all I need it to do is clean my head. I don’t have blond hair so I don’t need a purple shampoo to keep it blond and I don’t have dyed hair. So all I need is a good smelling shampoo that cleans my hair. This did the trick. I want to use sulfate free shampoos, but they’re so expensive and I don’t have money to spend on expensive products.

#5 Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect hair Conditioner
I love Pantene. It is by far my favorite conditioner ever. My mom’s used this for as long as I could remember so when we still used the same bathroom, it’s what I also used. But when I got my own bathroom, I wanted to try other stuff and have my own shampoo and conditioner that wasn’t what mom used since I had the freedom too. But freshman year of college, my hair was really dry and it was always frizzy. I would brush it out and five minutes later it would be a big ball of frizz and knots. It was miserable. Eventually, I tried using Pantene again (this one to be specific) and instantly, after the first use my hair felt softer and looked a lot healthier. Now that I cut about 6 inches off my hair and got an angled-bob, my hair is at its healthiest and is always soft and shiny. Even when it’s curly, and I owe it all to Pantene.

#6 EOS in summer fruit.
EOS has a lot of debate behind it. A lot of people love it and a lot of people hate it. I love it. I think the egg shape is so adorable, they have some pretty nice scents and my favorite thing of all…they don’t get ruined after being in a hot car. I have one in my purse, one on my dresser next to my bed, and one in my car (that stayed perfect even on those days when it was above 100 degrees out. I’d say they moisturize decently well. Probably not the best but I don’t care. They work well enough for me.

Leave your thoughts down below!
Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

August Favorites :)

I know this is a little late but I’m still going to one anyway, here is my August Favorites! :)

#1 Tresseme heat Protectant Spray

Since I cut my hair into an angled bob, I can’t just wash and go. It flips weird and curls weird and it just looks bad, not to mention it’s really fluffy after I wash it. Funny story, the second day of Rush week I showered and blow dried my hair not knowing that it wouldn’t be tamed after blow drying, so I had to go impress sororities with fluffy, kind of straightened, kind of flipped out hair. It was terrible. But anyway, I have to straighten my hair after I wash it. I take showers at night, but only wash my hair two or three times a week and so the mornings after I wash my hair, I straighten it. Since I do have to straighten it so much, I don’t want to damage it too much and I feel like this spray helps keep the damage to a minimum.

#2 My tote bag :)

I got this book tote bag on sale from Books-A-Million for 5 Dollars! I wanted a tote bag this semester for days when I only had one class and didn’t need to take my humungous backpack for a notebook, pen, wallet and water bottle. Most tote bags that I found were around 20 to 30 dollars and that was just too much to spend on a tote bag at the time; then my Mom and I just happened to be at the book store like we always are and I saw this for $5 and being an English major and major book lover, I fell in love with it. I’ve used it a couple times already and it fits everything I need to take for a class or two.

#3 Colorful, statement necklaces

This is my favorite of the three that I got, but I got three new colorful statement necklaces to go with my outfits for rush week. I go necklaces that not only went with my outfits, but would also go with other outfits that I have. This is my most worn one because I am still obsessed with coral, so it goes with my pink toms, my favorite nail polish color for summer and a lot of my shirts. The colors are really pretty, and it was on sale at target for 11 dollars. :) Don’t you love sales?

#4 My bed spread
My freshman year of college I got this black and white bedding from this online dorm store and I hated it! It was so boring and bland and just didn’t add any happy, color to my room. My roommate had this colorful bedding that I loved and I was always so jealous of how bright hew side of the room looked compared to how boring mine looked. So this year I got a new bed spread and sheet set and let me just say, coming into my room and seeing the bright colors makes me so happy. It also inspires me to keep my bed made so that I can see the full design :) I got this at Target on sale for 25 dollars. I am on a roll with these sales!

#5 Alpha Xi Delta
Going into Rush I was super nervous about talking to all the sororities, but I also didn't go in with a certain sorority in mind so I wasn't biased. Alpha Xi was the last room I went into night one of rush, and I fell in love with it. When I was called back to them nights 2 and 3 and then received my bid from them I was so excited and happy. All the girls are so sweet and accepting. The events that I have gone to so far have been so fun and I’m so excited to spend the next few years with these girls!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Tell me some of your favorites in the comments. :)
Thanks for reading!


Friday, September 5, 2014

How to get good grades!

The new school year is in full force now. Most of us have started school within the past month and the work is already piling up and stress is reigning. I always strive to get the best grades that I can and over my 13+ years of school, I've found some tips and tricks that have helped me.

#1 Use a planner!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep a planner or calendar of some sort whether paper or electronic to help keep track of assignments, tests, dues dates and activities. I could not live without mine. I use a paper planner from Target that I write all of my assignments that I need to do in the weekly section along with due dates, tests, work schedule, and club meetings. In the month view I only keep due dates, tests, and club meetings so I can glance and see the most important things coming up. Without this I would probably miss meetings and forget about my tests and homework and I would be completely and utterly stressed…then probably fail. We can’t have that.
Whether you use google calendar, a Filofax, a store bought planner or anything else. Something to plan your days, weeks, and months is essential.

#2 Color-code
If you aren’t someone who likes color or someone who works with color well then this isn’t required but I found that it helps a lot! I don’t write my notes in color, I just use a black pen or pencil so that I can highlight and not have the pen color interfere with the highlight color. However, in my planner I love color! I love being able to look at my calendar and see that there are four days with pink, 6 with light blue, 8 with light blue etc. I don’t have to read everything looking for right item. I also have a highlight color-code for my notes so if I’m trying to find something I can look for that color and find it quicker. Here’s my color-coding system. You can take mine, alter it change it, create your own if you want to.

#3 Go to Class
I know this is obvious, but I’m serious. It’s so important to go to class even those dreaded 8:00 AM classes. If you don’t go to class you might miss important information, hand-outs, notes, or even syllabi changes. Make sure you also pay attention in all your classes and take notes. Plus, once you skip class once for no reason, you will continue to skip class and then you will fail. So even on those cold, rainy mornings make sure you get up and go to class.

#4 Utilize your syllabus
In high school, the syllabi you receive aren’t as important as they are in college. In college these tell you the weight of your assignments, due dates, tests and exams, the reading schedule, textbooks and other books you may need, the teacher’s office hours and e-mail and basically everything you need to know for the class. As soon as you get them for all your classes, plan out your semester. Write all due dates and exams in your calendar so you can see how much time you have to prepare for all of them. But after you do this don’t just not look at the syllabus again for the rest of the semester, make sure you continue checking back on it to make sure you are on track and not forgetting anything.

#5 Use a different notebook or binder/binder section for each class
This helps to keep things organized so you don’t mix up notes and handouts from one class with another class. I will later put up a post about how I organize my notebooks and binders. But whichever method works for you, make sure you have one or a section designated to each class so that you can keep track of your notes and handouts.

#6 Make sure to do the reading before going to class
This can be difficult, with so much reading for college it’s difficult to do all the reading before class. But doing this is important, it gives you an overview of what will be said in class, you will already know what topics you understand and what topics you do not understand and you can be prepared to ask any questions you might have. I also like to take notes on the reading and then take class notes in class so that I can see what the teacher though was important and have to different ways the topic was said. While talking about notes, I like to re-write or re-type my class notes after class to fill in any empty spots and get it engrained in my head.

I hope this helped! What kind of tips/tricks do you guys have to get good grades?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson Review

Hello guys, I have finished Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (I finished it a few weeks ago but I can still write a review, right?). Well this is my first book summary/review so bear with me, I’ll improve.  

Summary: Sanderson has created a world covered in ashes for as long as the population can remember, being ruled by an immortal ruler. There is extreme poverty along the general population and extreme riches among the nobility, the only common trait is a fear of the swirling mists that cover the world at night and of the Lord Ruler who as far as they know is immortal. One day, an unlikely hero stands up to rebel against the Lord Ruler with his team of Alomancers and hopefully they will succeed in overthrowing the empire.

My Thoughts: I loved it! It took about a hundred pages to fully get into, which is not uncommon when it comes to fantasy novels but once I got into it I was hooked. I fell in love with the characters, even ones who aren’t the “main characters”, I feel we could still learn more about all of them but the character development I thought was really thought out. Vin, the protagonist, grows immensely during the novel while the others characters do experience some development. I also really enjoyed the magic in this novel, it was unlike any that I have ever heard or read of and it really helped keep me interested as I wanted to figure out more about this new kind of magic. The world that Sanderson created is awesome, he gives you enough history to understand what is going on but not so much that it bores you and continues to develop the world as the book goes on.  There was not a single part that I was disappointed in. I am honestly not ready to leave this world yet.

Recommend: Yes, I definitely recommend this book! I loved that it was different from other fantasy and non-fantasy that I have read and recommend to anyone who loves, or has yet to try fantasy novels. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I should state that this isn’t a full on action fantasy book; there is a lot of talking and a lot of political stuff throughout the novel but there is action, particularly until the end.