Help Me Pick My 100th Book Of 2015!

GUESS WHAT.

I am almost done with my reading challenge for 2015!!!

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I KNOW OMG!!

Okay so in January, I set a reading goal for myself. I was going to read 100 books. And guess what. I’m on my 96th book and it’s only October!

Now I would go crazy but I’m reeling it in because I plan to do a full I-read-this-many-books-this-year post towards the end of December and also because I have something very very very important to ask you.

So my 100th book is coming up very fast. And to me, it’s momentous. That 100th book symbolises completion, discipline, commitment and so much more. So naturally, I want to make sure that the book I read is epic.

But because I’m a book blogger and what I read is as relevant to you guys as it is to me, I decided to let you pick the book I’ll read.

So what I decided to do was to very carefully pick 3 books. These 3 books went through many rounds of consideration. I looked at community reviews, friend reviews, blogger and booktuber reviews and of course the opinions of my bookclub friends on these books was very very important. Finally, I came up with my titles and I’ve set up a poll for you guys.

So all the titles are pretty popular as it is so I’m sure I don’t need to go through them in depth. I will however attach links to each book that will take you to their Goodread’s pages in case you want more information.

*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*

The books I am considering are…The Queen Of The Tearling by Erika Johanson, Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry and Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

I’m currently leaning towards Six Of Crows but I’ll see what you guys think. So don’t forget to leave me your vote in the poll below and I will be back soon with the results.

(I’m honestly so excited guys. If I keep up my pace, I should be done with my challenge within the next two weeks!)

xoxo

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Ten Bookish Questions

Hey guys!

So I recently stumbled upon this tag in the book community and I thought it would be fun to do it just to have a little fun and to help you guys get to know me and my reading habits a bit more.

Also school is slowly becoming unbearable and I’m becoming more emotional and upset so really I’m doing this so that I’m not tempted to post one of the emotional rants that I’ve got sitting in my draft folder. Trust me my draft folder is a mess of toxic emotions at the moment. You’re much better off reading this.

1) What format of book do you prefer? (Hardback, paperback, ebook, audiobook, etc.)

Ebooks! Always Ebooks! I do love a good hardback or paperback though and I do admit to getting all mushy when I see a beautiful book cover. And omg the new trend to have coloured pages on the outside of the book?  Gorgeous!

I’ve tried audiobooks too but I’m terrible at them. I have ADHD so my mind goes ten million places and I usually have to rewind and I get annoyed.

So realistically, ebooks are my favourite.

2) What book are you reading now?

I’ll pick the one I’m focusing on out of the 4 that I am reading. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This is my blind date book from the Rainbow bookclub and I’m so excited to be finally reading it.
3) Favourite childhood book?

The Secret Island by Enid Blyton. This is a book about a group of children who are being mistreated by their aunt and uncle so they decide to escape to a secret island. So they go about sneaking things from their house to the island and eventually they run away and live there. This book played on everything I love. Islands, escaping from life, building a life out of the twigs and grass that surround you.

I mean I always say that I owe my wild imagination to Enid Blyton’s books in general but I think this book was just really the one.
4) Do you have an ereader? Which device do you prefer? 

Yes! I have a Kindle Paperwhite. My parent’s got it for my 17th birthday and it literally hasn’t left my side. It’s actually one of the things that help calm me down when I’m about to go into an anxiety attack or I’m panicking. Just holding it keeps me sane.

I would say that out of my phone, Mac and physical books, I prefer my Kindle.
5) How often do you read outside your comfort zone?

Embarrassingly enough, very rarely. I actually rarely venture out of the YA genre which is not great of me I know but I find it hard to read science fiction or non-fiction.
6) How do you feel about mature subjects in YA (e.g. sex or violence)?

Usually mature subjects in YA are pretty…mild. They aren’t too explicit and the violence isn’t too bad. But sometimes, though very rarely, authors go overboard and that’s when I have a problem. I’ve DNF-ed books for being too explicit.
7) What is your policy on book lending?

Here’s the trick guys. Bring your ereader to school and don’t tell anyone what physical books you have. The only person I lend books to is my grandma who I have now gotten to start reading novels. And she takes excellent care of my books. But generally if I let someone borrow a book of mine and they bend it even the slightest, they are out of my life. Out. Of . It.

8) What is your favourite language to read in?

English
9) Do you break/crack the spines?

I try not to. I literally do gymnastics to read a book just to keep the spine intact. The white lines look so horrid!
10) Do you believe you can say that Pride and Prejudice is objectively better than Twilight?

Confession: I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice. I know I know! But I did love Twilight so there’s that.

What I’m Currently Reading

I’m gonna be frank with you guys. I had no idea what I was going to write about today until literally a few minutes ago. In fact I actually wrote 4 different blog posts only to abandon them because I thought they were rubbish.

I’m not kidding but I think school is giving me writer’s block. I mean I was on fire last week. I had so many ideas and I  was churning out posts nearly every day. But this week, school started and suddenly it’s like what even is blogging.

Anyway, I decided to talk you guys through what I’m currently reading today. I’ve seen a couple of bloggers and booktubers do this and I’ve been quite interested to try it myself. So since I’m currently reading like ten million books at once and I can’t think of a good idea to save my life, I thought it might be a good time to experiment.

1) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

  

This book is the first in the Grisha trilogy and it has been absolutely raved about. All the people that I trust the most with book recommendations have gone crazy for this series and so I had to jump on the train.

So far I’m about 55% into it and it’s really really so good! The writing style is so fluid, the storyline is fascinating and the Darkling and Alina are so cute they are giving me ALL THE FEELS!! I totally ship them. 

I can’t wait to finish this and get to the second book which is Siege and Storm and is apparently the best in the trilogy.

2) Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by Various Authors

  

Okay I feel like I’ve talked about why I’m reading this book ten billion times on all my social media platforms but I realised that since I didn’t do a TBR this month, I didn’t get the chance to tell my beloved blog readers.

So I am the worst at anything horror related. Books, movies and even trailers can wreck me (4 years ago, I tried to watch Supernatural and I suffered till the 4th episode then gave up. I still don’t look into mirrors at night because of that Bloody Mary Episode.) So I’ve generally stayed well away from the genre. I’ve never read a single horror book and I’ve only ever watched half a horror film and that’s because I was forced to.

So since I’ve never read a horror book, I figured that I really don’t know what I’m missing. So this October, the month when everyone is reading scary books, I decided to challenge myself to read just one horror book.

So Slasher Girls and Monster Boys is basically a book of about 15 short stories by famous YA horror writers. They include people like Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu and many other amazing writers.

I decided to go for this one instead of a full novel because firstly, everyone has raved about it and secondly, short stories mean that I can take a break whenever I want and I can even put it down completely if it gets too much without feeling horribly guilty.

I’m currently 16% in. I started last night and I’ve read the first two stories. They aren’t scary like horror movie scary. But they are absolutely chilling. I don’t know. I am enjoying it a lot. Especially the second story which was inspired by Alice In Wonderland. That one left me with goosebumps and I felt hollow.

Let’s see how it goes.

3) Heir Of Fire by Sarah J Maas

  

Oh god this book. I think I actually started this in August. It’s so boring! I mean a lot of people said that HOF was dry and draggy but this is really cutting it. If I didn’t love the first two books as much as I do, I would have certainly DNF-ed ages ago. But I’m holding out for Queen Of Shadows and I’m currently reading a few pages of HOF a day. I have to be strong and get through this hard part. No rainbows without a little rain and all that you know.

4) Next Stop: Nina Book by Robin Raven

  

This is a book that was given to me by Robin to read and review and I don’t actually know what it’s about but I started reading the first few chapters while waiting in line at school for my pasta. So far we’ve got a botched suicide attempt and an abusive father. So very lovely start. I don’t know what I’ve got myself into and I don’t really want to read it but I’m a book blogger and reviewing books is kinda what I do so.

So these are the books that I am currently reading. I hope you guys enjoyed that (no seriously I hope you did. I want to make this a weekly thing). Don’t forget to leave in the comments the books you are currently reading and let me know if you enjoyed hearing about what I’m reading.

I’ll see you guys soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to come up with proper ideas. All I know is that this semester is said to be the hardest semester of my 3 years in Mass Comm and so I know my blogging schedule is going to be a bit crazy for a while. By I will try. I will do my best and I will really try to keep blogging regularly.

Xoxo

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon (Live Blog Updates)

Hey guys! So today it is currently one of the most anticipated days in the book community. It is the day of Dewey’s 24 hour readathon. So basically a whole bunch of people get together to read for 24 hours and there are cheerleaders on Twitter and challenges and sprints and it’s amazing.
This is my first time properly participating and I couldn’t be more excited. I have planned to read ‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’ by Patrick Ness and ‘Shadow And Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo.
In Singapore, the Readathon starts at 8pm on Saturday and ends at 8pm on Sunday. So I thought I would live blog for you guys. So keep watching this space because I will be updating it constantly.

Saturday:

8pm– I wasn’t ready to start. I was still sorting my life out. I know. I feel horrible.

8.45pm– I finally started. I’m reading ‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’ by Patrick Ness

9.30pm– I’m 9% in. It’s confusing but interesting.

10.55pm– I’m 33% in and completely hooked. I can’t put this down.

11.23pm– I think I’m going to have to call it a night now because I have to be up at 6.10am tomorrow morning for church and I cannot be unfocused during the sermon because I’m doing the slides and that would be quite horrible of me. 

I’m at 38% of the book and even though I was hoping to get to 50% by tonight, I’m still proud of my progress. I’m going to read a little more and let myself drift to sleep. Good night guys! Happy reading and I’ll see you in about 6 hours.

11.43pm– Ugh sorry. I just am finding it hard to settle down. I don’t know why but I’m feeling rather anxious. Like a million things are happening right now and I just feel really anxious. I know the Readathon is supposed to be fun and I am having fun. I love to read. I love my bookish community and my friends. I love this. But I’ve also never been part of a 24 hour Readathon. Every Readathon that I’ve done has lasted a few days to a week. And I’ve never had so many challenges and cheerleading going on in such a short span of time. It’s just a little overwhelming and I’m feeling the my anxiety levels start to go a little wonky. I’ll be okay with a bit of sleep though. So goodnight. For real this time.

12.07am– Can’t sleep but I made it to 50% of the book! Yay!!

Sunday:

6.31am– Good morning guys. I ended up being unable to sleep till about 1am so I got about 5.5 hours of sleep. I don’t know around there. I got to 53% on ‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’ and I’m going to try to sneak in a few more pages before church.

7.36am– 63%. Not gonna lie, I’m really tired.

8.52am– I’m going to do one of the little challenges now

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’ by Patrick Ness

2. How many books have you read so far?

Sadly, just one.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo! I’ve been dying to start this trilogy.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Well the intrruptions have been sleep and church which I can’t really complain about. I do wish that I could have read all night but sleep is important.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

Probably how exciting it is. I’ve never fully immersed myself in a Readathon like this before and it’s so much fun.

11.52am– I just got home. I’m settling down to start reading non-stop for the last 8 hours of the Readathon.

12.38pm– I’m just about to have lunch. I’ve got a subway sandwich. Of course I’m reading while eating. I’m at 81% and this is my set up: 

1.10pm– I’ve had my lunch, refilled my water bottle and I’m sitting down to the last 23 minutes (10%) of my first book.

1.35pm– I’ve finished my first book! ‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’ by Patrick Ness was so good! I’m giving it 5 stars. I’m starting ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo now.

2.24pm– I’m 8% into Shadow and Bone and I’m struggling. I’m really tired and restless and I keep having to reread paragraphs.

2.28pm– Hour 19 Mini Challenge: Who Am I?

So this challenge is quite fun. You basically have to pick your favorite book, provide 3-5 clues about it and let people guess. So here goes.

1) World War II

2) A Nazi moving in

3) The main charachter has a daughter and sister

Let me know in the comments if you can guess which book I’m talking about!

3.21pm– I took a break from reading and I’m starting back up now. I’m at 11%.

3.37pm– I’ve just got some macadamia nuts and water to keep myself going. I’m trying really hard to stay healthy in this.

4.40pm– Who said anything about being healthy?  My mum is too nice sometimes. (P.S. It’s rainbow cheesecake)

5.26pm– I’m doing terribly. I’m only at 29% of Shadow and Bone. Yikes 😦

6.31pm– I’m at 35% and I’m heading out for dinner. I’m not gonna finish the book today but it’s okay. I still read a lot over the last 24 hours. I’ll try to get in a chapter or two over dinner.

7.45pm– Dinner was great 🙂


8pm– The Readathon is officially over 😦

This Readathon was really so much fun. It was my first time participating in a 24 hour Readathon and while it was very intense, it was also very exciting and just so much fun.

I want to thank everybody who organised it, hosted, did the cheerleading, the challenges and the prizes. This Readathon was massive and I could see how much work went into it. So thank you. I really couldn’t have made it to the end without the regular tweets of encouragement and the little reading breaks I took by doing the challenges.

I planned to read two books within this 24 hours and unfortunately I didn’t manage to reach my goal. I ended up finishing ‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’ by Patrick Ness and I read 35% of ‘Shadow And Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, I am still happy with my progress because like I mentioned before, I’ve never participated in a 24 hour readathon before and I think I made good progress especially considering that I had a lot going on over the last 24 hours.

I hope you guys enjoyed following me on this readathon and seeing what I got up to over the last 24 hours. If you participated, let me know what you read in the comments below.

See you guys soon!

xoxo

3 Tips To Take Care Of Your Skin

I have never had the best skin. And I’ll admit that it’s largely due to the fact that I used to be quite lazy when it came to my skin care and about generally doing all the things that you should to get healthy skin.

This month though, I decided that I finally wanted to try my hardest to make my skin look good and healthy. So I slowly started introducing some lifestyle changes and while my skin obviously isn’t magically all clean and perfect now, I feel like I’m finally at a stage where I feel happy with my skin and I feel like I’m doing enough to keep it looking good. So today, as part of the last in my 3 part beauty series, I decided to tell you guys about the changes I have made in my life to keep up with my skin’s health.

1) Drink More Water

Okay Okay! I know. Everybody and their mother’s tell you to drink more water. But it’s true. It really helps. Not only does it help to clear up your face and make it look more vibrant but it has tons of other benefits for your entire body.

So I used to be chronically bad at drinking water. Literally I used to sometimes just forget to drink more then 200ml of water a day. That’s one glass if you’re wondering. I have now managed to increase that to an average of about 1600ml a day. How? Well I discovered a stupid little app.

I’ve tried many apps for drinking more water but nothing has really worked. This month though, I rediscovered Plant Nanny. I say rediscovered because I knew it existed. I’ve actually tried it before but it didn’t work. I guess this time I was a bit more determined.

So this app basically calculates how much water you will need per day and then it gives you a plant. Your task is to keep this silly little plant alive by watering it. So say you drink 200ml of water. You would then go into the app and log that down. So you get 200ml of water and your plant gets 200ml. If you slack on your drinking, your plant will get sad and eventually will shrivel up and die. It’s quite effective I would say.

This is my little plant:

Okay honestly, I just chugged 650ml of water to get my plant all happy and fresh for this screenshot. Not gonna lie. I feel like I’m drowning.

2) Make SPF Your Best Friend

 

I live in a very hot and sunny country. Which means that it is impossible for me to evade the sun. So I actually started using moisturisers with an SPF of 15 from the beginning of this year and I’ve really noticed a difference.

So make SPF a must when you are leaving the house. It doesn’t matter if you live in Singapore where the sun will literally burn you alive or if you live in freaking Sweden where they once only had 20 minutes of sunlight. WEAR SPF.

*By the way, an SPF of 15 is the bare minimum so look out for that before buying one*

3) Establish A Skin Care Routine…And Stick To It!

This is one of the most important steps because you can drinks gallons upon gallons of water (don’t do that. There is such a thing as too much water) and you can slather on  an SPF of 800 but if you aren’t regularly cleansing and moisturising your skin, you really won’t be doing yourself a favour.

I like to follow this three step rule to my skin care routine. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise. So you can use that as a basic outline when coming up with your skin care routine.

I recently did a blog post where I walked you guys through my night time skin care routine. So if you want some elaboration or product suggestions, you can head on over to that post as well.

So those are my 3 tips on taking care of your skin. I still have a whole load of other tips so if you would like a part 2, let me know. Also don’t forget to tell me what your favourite skin care tip is if it isn’t in my list.

I will be resuming my bookish posts after this and I just wanted to say thank you for supporting my 3 days of beauty posts. I really enjoyed sharing my night time skin care routine, my favourite lip products and my skin care tips with you guys. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it as much as I did.

xoxo

My Top 3 Favourite Lip Products

My favorite part of doing my makeup has always been my lips. I love picking a lipstick colour to match my outfit and then glamming it up with a touch of lip gloss. It’s just always been my favourite thing to do. Not to mention that I’m a firm believer in the fact that just a touch of lipstick can immediately make someone look 10 times better.

So today, as part of my series of beauty posts, I thought I would tell you guys about my top 3 favorite lip products from each of the general lip categories. Lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm.

1) Lip Stick

I love a good lipstick. I feel like it really gives a person charachter. Not to mention that you can really let your personality shine through your lipstick.

I personally associate darker shades with more of a bolder and confident type of person and softer, more subtle colours with a milder and more gentle charachter.

Which is why my favorite lipstick is Maybelline’s Colour Show in Nude Mocha (305). This lipstick might as well be the only one I own because I rarely use any other.

It’s a matt lipstick and while it is under their pink palette, it has red undertones which I love. It’s very soft and not as jarring as a lot of other lipsticks which make it the perfect one to wear on a daily basis. If you choose to apply it very lightly, it gives your lips a very subtle lift and basically makes sure that you don’t look like a zombie on the Walking Dead.

You can also choose to build it up if you’re going to an event or something and it’s perfect because it goes very effortlessly from a subtle day time look to something that you would wear on a night out.

Basically it’s the only lipstick you will ever need.

2) Lip Gloss

Like most girls, I started my descent into the world of makeup with a simple lip gloss. I had a couple on hand already but when I discovered Nivea’s Fruity Shine Strawberry Lip Gloss, I pretty much dumped every single one of them and pledged allegiance to this baby.


It’s a lip gloss with a red tint to it and a very pretty glittery shine. I used to wear it in place of lipstick when I was still really crap at keeping my lipstick on my lips and off my teeth. Now that I do know how to use lipstick properly, I like to use this lip gloss to glam up a matt lipstick. I’ll usually just slick it over my lipstick to give myself a more fun look when I’m going out to an event or party.

3) Lip Balm

  

Burt’s Bees has always been my go to when it comes to lip balms. I completely trust them and they have never failed me. My ultimate favourite though would be the Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil. This is a very light but effective lip balm. It comes out clear and it smells heavenly. Pomegranate is actually my favourite smell ever so this is perfect. I used it during the day when I was in Seattle and Portland and my lips didn’t crack or dry out once.

So those are my top 3 favourite lip products. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I will be putting out a post on how to take care of your skin within the next two days so stay tuned for that. Until then, don’t forget to follow me and let me know what your favourite lip products are in the comments below.

xoxo

My Nightly Skin Care Routine

When I first started my blog, I used to focus mainly on beauty posts. I took a lot of photos and I talked endlessly about hair and makeup and the joys of exfoliating.

As my blog grew, I slowly came to the realisation that my passion lay mostly with books. While I love makeup and anything beauty related, it did take a backseat to my love for reading.

However, that didn’t stop the ideas. Oh the ideas for beauty related posts were endless. But these kinds of posts requires more photography then I could do while in school. And there was also the fact that I was now a book blogger and not a beauty one.

So I thought I would finally indulge myself (and hopefully you guys too) by doing a series of beauty posts over the next few days. Sounds good? I think so.

As you can probably see by the title, I am going to be walking you guys through my nightly skin care routine today. Now I would just like to say here that I am by no means someone who is very on top of their skin care. I am terrible at it actually. I usually skip steps, forget to do things or just plain pretend my cleanser doesn’t exist.

That said though, this month I decided to start taking my skin care more seriously and that started with establishing a regular routine for myself. Of course I did my best to make it the quickest and most efficient one and considering that I’ve pretty much stuck to it, I think I’ve succeeded.

1) Cleansing

This is the first and most basic step in any skin care routine. You need to make sure that you clean your face and get rid of all the grime of the day.

For that, I use Pond’s Acne Clear Multi Action Facial Foam and Scrub. I could go on for days about how much I love this product.

So first of all, it’s the type that lathers. I love pretty much anything that lathers because I feel like it really lets you stretch your buck. You can use just a little bit and it will lather up to be able to cover your entire face and then some. So you can use this for ages before you have to replenish it.

Secondly, it’s a very gentle exfoliant. Now you know I love my exfoliants. This product has a few little exfoliating beads that clean your pores without being too harsh on the skin (because you do know that you can’t use a harsh exfoliator on a daily basis right?). So I’m able to fulfill my intense desire to exfoliate without ruining my skin. Yay!

So I use the Pond’s Facial Foam every evening except for Sundays. Sunday is my deep clean day. So I usually skip my facial foam and just use my beloved St Ives Apricot Scrub on Sundays.


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you would know that I LOVE this product. It is the first thing I would recommend anyone. It is basically an exfoliator in and out except that unlike the Pond’s one, it is much more intense. So you unfortunately can’t use it everyday (I tried it once and while it is incredibly lovely in the moment, the long term effects aren’t so great). So I use it once a week just to really properly clean my face. It leaves my skin feeling so smooth and soft and delightful.

Now you don’t have to choose Sundays to be your deep clean day. You can pick any day of the week. I decided on Sunday because I only start school in the afternoons on Monday. Which means I get the whole night and morning to be makeup free. And if you haven’t caught my drift yet, it basically means that after a deep exfoliation, I can give my skin and pores the maximum time to breathe before I put on my makeup.

So pick a day that suits your lifestyle and try to allow your skin to breathe as much as you can after a deep clean.

2) Toning

 

The next step is to tone your face. Now I’m fairly new to toning and all I can say is that if you’ve never tried it, you need to asap. Because it feels heavenly. 

What toners do is that they basically provide an extra cleaning for your face. It tightens your pores, it balances your PH levels and it basically makes you feel like you can rule the world.

I use the Himalaya Herbals Refreshing & Clarifying Toner every night. You just dab a little onto a cotton pad and rub that all over your face. The cotton pad should come away slightly dirty even if you’ve just cleansed your face. That’s because cleansing doesn’t remove all the dirt from your face. Toners do. Toners clean your pores and your face crevices. Trust me. It’s amazing.

If you’re in a rush though or perhaps extremely tired, you can choose to just tone your face or just cleanse. I recommend doing both but if you really can’t, pick one. At least your face will have some semblance of being clean.

3) Moisturising 

Once your face is dry from the toner, you want to moisterise to lock in that moisture and to make sure your skin doesn’t dry out.

For that, I use the Nivea Night Whitening Body Lotion. This stuff smells amazing and it makes your skin feel very cool and soft. I absolutely adore it.


If you have sensitive skin, another favorite of mine is the Johnson’s Baby Bedtime lotion. Don’t judge me. Baby lotion is freaking amazing and don’t tell me you don’t want to smell like a baby when you sleep. Plus it’s clinically proven to help babies sleep better so who’s the real winner here?

4) Lip Balm

This step is optional because it really depends on how you sleep. I use lip balm because I sleep in an air conditioned room and while my lips don’t really crack or get dry easily, I like to protect them and make sure that they are well moisturised. If anything, it’s for my future.

So I use the Burt Bee’s Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum Butter. I discovered this back in April when I was in Seattle. I used it every single night and it was amazing.

I will admit though that this lip balm is very heavy. It’s a clear balm and the kokum butter is very noticable. For people who aren’t used to using a lip balm, this can feel rather strange and uncomfortable. So I would recommend that you apply it about a half hour before bed just so that it settles and it doesn’t feel like you need to be ultra careful with your lips like if you were wearing lipstick (because who wants that when you’re all ready to snuggle into bed?)

If you really can’t handle such a heavey lip balm you can go for my second favorite and just as effective lip balm which is the Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil. That is usually the one I use in the day time under my lipstick because it’s a lot more lighter.

So that is it for my night time skin care routine. It’s pretty basic and I usually do it while watching YouTube videos or reading so it doesn’t require you to really set aside time to do it.

I hope that it helps some of you who want to start establishing a routine and don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you have any extra steps in your routine because I know mine is still pretty basic.

I will be putting up a series of beauty posts over the next few days so follow me or subscribe to keep up to date.

Xoxo

World Mental Health Day: My Struggle With Anxiety

World-mental-health-day

Hi guys,

So I just found out that today is actually World Mental Health Day (or was it yesterday?). Now if you’ve been following me for a while, you would know why it is absolutely impossible for me to let today go by without acknowledging it.

When I was 12, I was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). When I was 14, I went through about a year and a half of what I could only describe as depression. Undiagnosed because no one cared to see through my facade but depression nonetheless.

This year, my biggest challenge was managing my anxiety. I have always been an anxious person. When it comes to dealing with people outside my family, I immediately retreat. When it comes to events, meeting new people, going to new places, I freak out. That has been a constant my whole life. This year though, I feel like I got a lot worst. I started getting more anxiety attacks, I started feeling trapped, I started having to isolate myself in school to calm down and that began a fear of rejoining my school mates because I felt like I had pushed myself too far away from them.

Not many people know that I struggle with anxiety and anxiety attacks because I try not to tell people. I brush lightly on it on this blog sometimes but I’ve never really told anyone about how more often then not, I spend my nights tossing in bed and thinking about something. I slowly find myself going off tangent and obsessing over one sentence I said that day or one thing I didn’t do right. Very quickly the thoughts will build up and will begin to stifle me. I will start to struggle to breathe, I’ll feel like throwing up and I have to start screaming at myself to let go so that I can just take a breath. Just. One. Breath. Because that first breath is always the first step you take to calm yourself down.

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This year it became more then just having anxiety attacks at night in my room. I started panicking in school. I’ve actually had to call my mom a few times so that she can talk me through an anxiety attack. I’ve had to leave class sometimes and calm myself down in the bathroom. I’ve had to isolate myself so much so that I spent the whole of last semester by myself. And people don’t understand that. They look at someone like me and they think that I’m being arrogant because I hide in a corner when I have lunch. Because I don’t sit with anyone in the lecture hall. Because I’m always by myself. They just don’t get how much effort it is for me to hold a conversation. How much I will torture myself after each conversation. “Why did you say that?”, “They don’t care about what you have to say.”, “They probably think you’re retarded.”, “You’re just so so stupid. Why can’t you get anything right?”.

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This year has not been the easiest. I have experienced a lot of things, been to places and done new things and not everything was good. Of course. There were some horrible experiences. But my biggest accomplishment was that I survived. I survived the death of my grandpa. It was so hard. No one thought about how hard it would be for me and I had so many anxiety attacks remembering his funeral and his cremation. But I survived. I went to a very big conference and I had to interview people. I nearly cried but I did it. I was the editor of a magazine and I was working with a team of people that I barely knew but I did it. Even though I would sometimes cry myself to sleep and doubt myself, I did it. I can look back over the last 10 months and be proud of myself because I pushed myself to say yes to opportunities and even though I broke down many times, I got back up and I did it.

I still struggle a lot with my anxiety. In fact, I’m going back to school in a week and I don’t know what that’s going to be like. I don’t know if I’m looking at another semester of eating lunch alone every single day. I don’t know if I’m looking at months of being the only person that sits alone during lectures again. I really don’t know and that scares me a lot. But I can take comfort in the fact that I am working on myself and that I’m getting better.

You have no idea how much writing this took from me. You have no idea how hard it was for me press the publish button. You don’t know how much I deleted before putting this up. I actually only wrote this because to me, my blog is a safe place. I don’t ever want people in my life thinking of me differently but sometimes it gets too much and I need to talk. And I usually don’t have any anyone to talk to but my little community of readers. To me, my community is safe and that is the only reason why I’m talking about it.

I wrote this not because I want to gain any sympathy. Instead I’m writing this because I want to help someone with my experience. I have read a lot of blog posts, comments and articles on anxiety and it’s just so comforting to know that I’m not alone. Unless you struggle with something like this, you will never know how wonderful it is to know that you are not alone. You aren’t crazy. It’s not just you. It’s such a strange but lovely feeling.

So I’m writing this because living with any mental illness, no matter how small, is difficult. It’s not as easy as a physical illness. It takes years and years to be able to accept yourself and to get better. It’s not as easy as taking a pill or getting surgery done. Mental illness is something that is so hard to handle. It’s hidden. No one can see that you have it and because of that, no one really knows that you might need help or that you need them to be patient with you.

So happy World Mental Health Day to anyone struggling with a mental illness and to the beautiful people that love us regardless. To the special people we call to talk us down, to the loving people that see through our facades. Happy World Mental Health Day. You’re so special.

xoxo

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

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Hey guys,

So 4 days ago was Twilight’s 10th anniversary and in celebration of that, Stephenie Meyer dropped a new book out of the sky. Literally no one knew about it till the news broke on Twitter.

When I heard about this new book that was supposedly Twilight reimagined, I went crazy. I was so excited. Twilight was my life when I read it at 13 and till today it still remains something that is very special to me. So I immediately got the book and began reading (thanks a lot Stephenie for screwing up my reading schedule).

So let me firstly tell you what this book is all about because I think a lot of people are actually quite confused. Life and Death is basically Twilight. It’s the same story. Same characters and I found out by checking back with the original Twilight that all the scenes and even sentences were the same. There are only two differences from the original book. Firstly, this book tried to squish 4 books into one. So the ending is really quite different. Secondly, and probably most importantly, all the characters had their genders swapped. Yup. Stephanie Meyer decided to see what it would be like if Bella was a boy and Edward a girl. Why you may ask? Well simply because she had a lot of readers complaining that Bella was very damsel-in-distress and she was pathetic basically. So Stephanie wanted to prove that Twilight would have been the same regardless if Bella had been a girl or a boy. Basically she wanted to please the feminists of 2015. Bad idea.

So I went into this book with wild eyes and a beating heart. I’m not kidding. I was fangirling so hard and I was so excited to be going back into the world of Forks and the Cullens. I literally couldn’t breathe.

So I started reading and immediately one thing was very evident. Beau was not his own person. He was Bella with a ‘he’ at the end of the sentence. Now when you do something like change every single character’s gender in a book, you have to remember that it is a big deal. Which I think was Stephenie’s first major mistake. She tried to make light of the gender switch by keeping every single aspect of each character but putting them in different bodies. You can’t do that. I get that Stephenie was trying to say, “Oh look. Men and women are exactly the same.” But no. No no no.

Now I know it’s not politically correct to say this but the fact of the matter is that men and women are different. No matter how much you go out there protesting chivalry and the need to wear a bra, the fact is that we were made differently. So you can’t just dump all the attributes of a well developed female character onto a guy without taking into consideration the fact that he is now a guy and should be considered a completely separate character altogether. It’s like trying to squeeze a circle into a square.

I mean I have read countless numbers of books with male point of views. Men of all ages. And none of them compare to Beau. I mean you’re telling me that a straight, teenage boy feels nothing about the fact that he has at least 5 girls that are openly drooling after him and confessing their love to him? He barely batted an eye. That’s not normal. How was he not teased at school for following Edythe around like a puppy. How was that not addressed? Say what you want but that’s what happens in school. That’s reality. I  mean, pathetic, clumsy and weak might have been somewhat acceptable on Bella but on Beau it was cringe-worthy. Yet nothing was said about it. Go ahead. I dare you to tell me that I did not just say what everyone else was thinking.There was no way Beau could have filled the role of Bella. Not unless a large part of  his character and the characters around him, was rewritten. Guys and girls are different.

In Twilight, it was easy to accept Edward and Bella’s love story because it worked. Bella the clumsy little girl and Edward her knight in shining armour. But with Beau and Edythe, everything just seemed wrong. Everything that seemed okay in the previous book just seemed wrong now. For example, I was totally getting insta-love vibes from the story. With Edward and Bella, things seemed to move slower. But with Beau and Edythe, everything was rushed. It seemed like one second Edythe was glaring at Beau in the classroom that first day and the next Edythe was declaring that Beau was her life. It felt so staged. So fake.

Another problem I had was with the supporting characters. Do you guys remember that in 2010, there was a movie that came out called ‘Vampires Suck’? It was a parody film of Twilight and it was quite silly but it was also quite funny. Well Life and Death kinda felt like that. Every character besides Edythe and Beau just seemed so removed from the story. I couldn’t take it!

*If you don’t want to be spoiled about the new ending, skip this paragraph. Though there isn’t really much of anything to spoil…*

The new ending was something that I found quite interesting. I wasn’t expecting that the ending would change so I was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately I think it was handled poorly. Stephenie basically tried to shove 4 books into 1 here and because of that, the whole thing seemed very rushed. Like she was getting tired of the story and just wanted to end it quickly. Beau didn’t even know that werewolves existed. It was not mentioned at all in the story. But suddenly we were thrust in the middle of the feud between the wolves and vampires. And compared to how the werewolf part of the saga was developed in the original novels, this was was so so so poorly done. I honestly couldn’t imagine that Stephenie Meyer would put such little thought into the werewolf aspect but she really did. I really wish she had just left the werewolves out of the story altogether.

*You can start reading again*

Overall the book was pretty bad. It was not the right call to switch the genders of the characters in my opinion. She should have just let it be because I feel like this novel just amplified all the feminist problems in the original novel.

I mentioned in a recent post about Twilight’s 10th anniversary that Twilight was something that was very special to me because it was my first proper romance and I also ended up becoming obsessed with it for many years after I read it. I also said that no matter how bad Life and Death was, I could never really truly hate it. Which is why I found it hard to give this book anything less then 4 stars but I have to be honest. I initially gave it a 3 stars but I am going to bring it down to 2 stars once this review goes live just because that is the true rating this book deserves.

I was reading an interview that Stephenie Meyer did for this book and she mentioned that when she first came up with the idea to write and publish Life and Death, she was not sure if she would have enough time to finish writing. She concluded by saying that the writing process ended up going much faster and easier then she anticipated. I can really see why. Novels that take months or even years show an author’s commitment towards their novel. Novels aren’t meant to be rushed. So when they are, you truly get crap. A lot of people are currently slamming Stephenie for putting this book out just to make more money and I unfortunately have to join this group of people. Stephenie obviously knew that the world would go crazy when she dropped the novel and so she just tossed together whatever scraps she had, served it up and waited for the money to start pouring in. I can’t put it any other way.

To conclude this depressing review, I would just like to say that the original Twilight books will always be special to me. I will never not love them. I just consider Life and Death to be separate from the saga. If you are planning to read the book, let me just say that you are better off re-reading Twilight.

xoxo

*Just wanted to say that I know this review is very inappropriate for the 2015 culture that we live in but it is what I felt. In fact I left out chunks of my review because it just wasn’t ‘appropriate’ and I had someone read it through to get rid of any bits that were too offensive.

I have nothing against feminists. I support the fact that they want equal rights for women and equal education and job rights. I support that 100%. My only problem is when feminism becomes about how men should not be chivalrous or how its unfair that women have to wear a shirt when men don’t have to. I felt like this book was about that side of feminism which I hate. In my opinion, men and women were made differently and as long as it doesn’t affect our education, jobs and safety, we really should stop making a fuss. If you have something to say to that, do it politely in the comments. I would love to hear your side, because I know mine isn’t the only right one, and to debate respectfully.*

Why I Love Being A Blogger

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Hey guys,

So today I’ve got a somewhat different  kind of post for you.So last month I was approached by the Blog Friends Forever Tour which is being hosted by Fiction Fare and The Swoony Boys Podcast. The tour aims at bringing bloggers together and bringing attention to lesser known blogs. So for today, I was asked to talk about why I love being a blogger and I couldn’t be more excited because I feel like I have a lot to say about it.

I started this blog last year in June. I remember how nervous I was and how afraid I was that people would find it. Especially my school friends and of course my family. I wasn’t writing anything that was wrong. Just that it felt like it was too personal for anyone that knew me in real life to read. But I have grown up so much over the last year. I have become so much more confident in myself. I no longer fear people reading my blog or watching my videos. I mean sure I don’t particularly like knowing that there are people who can literally come up to my face and say, “Oh I saw your last post. It was good. I agree with this…” But I no longer feel like I’m in a cage about it. The fear of having people read my blog no longer paralyses me.

So I think that’s why I really love being a blogger. It makes you confident. It teaches you that it’s okay to want to say things. It helps you to get used to being a voice that people actually care about. It also makes you feel important. I know that most people might disagree. I mean I’m still a nobody. But having this platform to express my views makes me feel important to others. Like I matter.

This brings me to my second point. I love being a blogger because I now have a platform to work through my personal issues. I have a lot of things that I have bottled up inside me. I don’t always have someone to talk to when it comes to me. To my feelings. To my issues. So I use this blog to talk about what’s wrong and what’s right. Very few family members know that this blog exists so if I have something that I need to say about myself, I can do it safely. At least in my family, blogging about a problem is a lot safer then writing in a diary. I can tell faceless people what I am unhappy about and they understand. And through that understanding I form friendships that are actually deeper then the ones I have with my friends in real life.

And finally, I love being a blogger because of the freedom. The knowledge that I can wake up one morning, have an idea, write it down and publish it without having to think twice is so liberating. I come from a school system that was very constricting. Even when writing English essays, there was a structure that you had to follow and there were so many rules. I remember that I once wrote an essay about the year that I got depressed and lost my will to do anything. I likened depression to a monster and I remember that even though my mum cried when she read it, I still very nearly failed that piece. Why? Well because it didn’t follow the set rules. I hated it. Being a blogger, I don’t have to listen to anyone. I can do what I want. I can start a sentence with ‘and’. I have trouble with spelling till today but if I spelt anything wrong here, I wouldn’t have that mistake plastered on a screen for a class filled with my peers to laugh at me. It’s my world and I can make my own rules.

I hope you enjoyed reading that. The blog tour is doing a huge giveaway and I would love it if you participated.There will be 3 winners. They are giving away $75, $50, and $25 gift cards to the winner’s choice of book retailer. So do join in!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a6ca59ee278/?

Do check out the posts of the other participants that are doing this blog hop today as well:

Oops! I Read A Book Again 

Owl Always Be Reading 

See you guys soon!

xoxo