Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review: Stolen Songbird

Recently I read Stolen Songbird, and I honestly wasn't expecting that much. I just got it because I thought it would be a quick read that would be entertaining enough for the time being, since I'm waiting to buy some books online.  
Boy was I wrong. 
I absolutely loved  this book! It had everything and more that a great book should: a strong main character, a plot that wasn't just about a girl slowly falling in love with a boy, and issues that really make you think.

Stolen Songbird  is about a girl, Cecile, who lives with her father, brother, and sister in a small countryside town (probably around the 17th century-ish time period, there isn't a specific era given, but horses and horse-drawn carriages are the main modes of transportation). She is an aspiring singer and has a very beautiful voice which has been carefully trained by vocal instructors her mother, who lives in the city and is a singer herself, has sent to teach her; however, Cecile's mother finally feels she is ready to be trained in the city, since she is seventeen.
The book starts out when Cecile is on her way to the main part of town, by herself, in order to get eggs for her last dinner at home, when she is kidnapped by a boy named Luc. He ties Cecile up and throws her on his horse and takes her to the mountain, called Forsaken Mountain, near their town. There, he takes her into mysterious tunnels in order to get to the elusive city of Trollus, a city full of, you guessed it, trolls. 
These trolls aren't the ones of fairy-tales with hunched backs (although the royal family does seem to have many birth defects due to inbreeding) and green skin, but creatures that look like normal humans, other than their silver eyes. Trollus is under the Forsaken Mountain, and was cursed by a witch centuries ago, causing no troll to be able to escape past the city limits. Humans are free to come and go, many of whom the trolls depend upon to deliver goods and foods, but anyone with a drop of troll blood is not able to get out.
The whole reason Cecile is brought to Trollus is to be bonded and wed to the prince, Tristan. His aunt is known to tell prophecies, and she predicted that the curse will be broken once the prince is bonded to "one of the sun", meaning a human girl. Cecile has stunning red hair and green eyes, which is a big difference to the trolls' darker looks. The trolls believe Cecile's bond (and marriage) with Tristan will break the curse, and are very disappointed when it doesn't immediately happen. However, Tristan is relieved, which Cecile feels since their bond also bound their emotions together, enabling them to know what the other is feeling.
Cecile goes through the next couple of weeks with Tristan treating her horribly, and soon finds out there is a large group of rebels fighting for half-human half-troll rights. She joins the cause, and also begins to learn more about the curse, and the witch that cursed Trollus.
I loved this book so much, because it was more than a simple cliche "she hates him but loves him" love story; it had depth in the issues within Trollus and showed how corrupt any society can be. The way the halflings are treated is a direct mirror to how minorities in our world have been treated throughout history, and it really shows the courage rebel leaders have, and what it takes to achieve equality for everyone. Danielle L. Jensen really created a world that was believable and complex, and I love her writing style. There was always something interesting going on, and I found myself not being able to put this book down, and would read it for hours each time I picked it up. There are also some really funny and lighthearted moments that weren't forced at all. 
Overall, I highly  recommend this book to everyone! It's a great read that entertains you and makes you think at the same time. 

What have you read recently that you have really liked?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a great day! :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Hair!

I've been thinking about changing up my hair for a while now, and I thought now would be the perfect time since I'll be going to college in about a month! I want to have a fresh start this fall, so this is a great start! 
Two of my dogs (Miki on the left and Z on the right). They love sneaking into pictures!

I really wanted to get auburn in my hair, but I didn't want the change to be too drastic or look really unnatural, so I asked for a balyage look but with red instead of a blonder shade. I'm super happy with the result! I think it adds a little more depth to my hair and I love all the different shades and how gradual it is. 

I really like the front as well - my hair stylist put a couple of red strands higher up to frame my face so I feel like that really finishes off my hair. I feel like the color change isn't too drastic from the front either, which I really love!

Overall, I'm so happy with how it turned out and I'm really glad I decided to put some red in my hair! I was pretty nervous about it, and it took me so long to finally decide to color it. I'm a super indecisive person and change really scares me, but I thought what the heck, I'm only 18 and I'm going to college so I might as well change my hair - it just makes me even more excited to start this new chapter in my life!

What would you do to your hair if you knew you would have no regrets afterwards?

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a great day! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OOTD + VloggerFair!

This last weekend I went to Seattle and went to VloggerFair! It was such a great experience and it was so fun meeting vloggers who make such great videos and daily vlogs! The YouTube community is so unique and is so great in that it allows people to be super creative and individualistic with creating videos. Every YouTuber I met this weekend was so genuinely nice and down to earth - it was really refreshing to see they are almost exactly how they are in their videos! There isn't too much else to say without just rambling about how good it was, so I thought I would share some pictures with you guys!

 Me and Tyler Oakley! He is such a nice person - he stayed an hour and a half longer than he was supposed to in order to meet everyone in line! He even had a flight that he had to catch that night, so it was really nice of him to make sure everyone got to meet him (the line went all the way around the convention center room!).

 These are the Daily Bumps! They have a daily vlogging channel and they are so sweet! Their son, Oliver, is the cutest little boy ever! He's such a happy little baby, and they are the cutest little family.

 This is Marie from Bits and Clips and her family! She was kind enough to walk through Shay Carl's meet and greet line (which my friends and I waited in line for three and half hours in! Some people waited four to five hours!!) since people had to wait so long. They are really nice people and their kids are adorable!

 Austin Null from the Nive Nulls! He is such a cool guy, and really nice! Unfortunately his wife and kids couldn't make it to VloggerFair, but it was great meeting him! 
 Judy from ItsJudyTime! She is so nice, it's incredible! She really spent time with everyone and genuinely cared about everyone in her line! It was so great to meet her.

 Shay Carl from the Shaytards! He is such a funny guy and super nice! He met everyone in his line as well, and his meet and greet went way longer than it was supposed to as well! He talked to everyone in line for at least a couple of minutes and seemed really grateful for each person who watched his videos! His wife, Collette, and their youngest son who's not even a year old yet, were there as well, but he got pretty fussy so Collette had to go back to their hotel so we didn't get to meet her :( But hopefully she'll be back next year!

 Me and Krsitina Horner! She is so sweet as well, and does a lot of book reviews on her channel. It was so cool to meet her because I tend to like a lot of the same books as she does!


Cardigan: Aeropostal
Tank Top: Nordstrom Rack
Shorts: Nordstrom
Shoes: Birkenstocks
Temporary Tattoos: Flash Tattoos

 I had such a great time this weekend, and I hope to go back next year!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a great day! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Current Obsession: Maxi Skirts

Hey guys!
So lately I have been obsessed with maxi skirts - they are so pretty and perfect for any weather, and can easily be dressed up or down. I especially love them for summer nights because they aren't too heavy that they will make you super warm, but they also provide a little extra something if it gets chillier once the sun goes down.

I have especially been lusting over this one (which you can find here)! It is absolutely gorgeous and looks really comfortable.

This one is pretty similar, just with a cute pattern over it which I love as well. It looks so classy with it's vintage-y pattern! You can find it here.

I love the lace cutouts on the side! The pattern is really pretty, but the cut outs add a really cool look to it, as well as the slit on the side. Find it here!

I have always loved this color - you can easily wear it in any season! The material is also so gorgeous and looks really soft. You can take a closer look here.

I love the flowers on this one! They look really nice against the black background, and are able to really pop. You can find it here. I also found a similar one to this one for a lot cheaper, which can be seen here.

This pattern is really cute as well; it is quite busy, but the colors help it tone down. You can find it here,

Well those are some skirts I have found lately that I have been wanting! I've actually been throwing around the idea of ordering the first or second one, I just wish they would go on sale!

Anyway, thank you so much for reading, and have a great day!

Would you spend a lot of money on a clothing item if you had been wanting it for a while?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Top Ten Beauty Hacks

Hey guys!
So today I thought I would share with you some of the "beauty secrets" that I use on a daily and weekly basis that I feel really help keep my skin clear and soft!

1. Drink lots of water and get plenty of rest! This is my number one tip, because if these basic needs are not met for your body, your skin will suffer! Your skin really reflects what is inside of your body, so make sure you drink enough water, and sleep enough in order for your body to be at it's best! Remember that eight is the magic number: try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

2. Use a face mask once a week. You can either buy one from the store, or make one at home with simple ingredients in your kitchen already (I'm a huge fan of milk and honey masks). I find that when I put on my face mask every Sunday after a nice hot shower, I can relax so much and my skin feels so great afterwards. It helps you wind down after a long week, and helps your skin out at the same time! I also like to use a mask that is meant for deep cleaning so my pores can "breath".

3.  Use Vaseline to get longer lashes. Every night I put Vaseline on my eyelashes and right at the base to make them longer. I don't quite know how it works, but it really does! As a bonus, it also helps my skin at the base of my eyelashes which sometimes gets really dry.

4. Coconut oil can be used for anything and everything. There are  so many great uses for coconut oil - hydration for your hair, mixed with sugar for an exfoliant, and you can also cook with it! It can be used for virtually anything, so it's worth buying and having around!

5. Exfoliate a couple of times a week. I use the exfoliating face wash from Simple, and the Buffy bar from Lush on the rest of my body to exfoliate. I find that exfoliating a couple of times a week (don't go too overboard - three times a week should be the max) really helps your skin "glow", as it gets rid of a lot of dead skin cells. It also makes your skin feel really soft!

6. Use vitamin E oil to get rid of scars. My mom has always done this, and it works really well. We get the vitamin E capsules and poke them open with a needle and use the oil inside to put on scars. Doing this every night for a little while really helps to get rid of unwanted scars.

7. If you have eczema or extremely dry skin patches, use cortisone creme to get rid of them. I get little flare ups of eczema in the form of dry, flaky patches, so I rub some Cortisone 10 cream on it, and within one or two days, it is completely gone. It also helps get rid of stubborn dry patches that just won't go away.

8. Take your makeup off every night before you go to sleep. I cannot stress the importance of this! It is so  bad for your skin to go to sleep with your makeup still on - it clogs your pores which leads to bad breakouts. If you like not having to do a whole lot before going to sleep, buy some make-up removing wipes to quickly remove your make-up and cleanse your skin.

9. Try and have one make-up-less day a week. I don't know if this helps a whole lot, but I like to have one day a week at least that I don't wear any make-up at all. I just wake up, put on some lotion, and wash it at the end of the day, followed by more lotion. I feel that it just gives my skin a nice break, and allows it to "breath" for a whole day.

10. Rub toothpaste on pimples to get them to dry up and go away quickly. I have been doing this for years, and it always works like a charm! Just dab some toothpaste onto the center of the pimple, rub it in, and when you wake up in the morning, it should be smaller and easier to conceal! Sometimes the pimple goes away in a day, but other times I have to do this for another night to get it to completely go away.

What are some beauty tips/hacks that you swear by? 
Thank you so much for reading, and as always, have a great rest of your day! :)