Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Review: Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Even though I strongly believe you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I kind of literally do that exact thing when I'm picking my next book to read. I really appreciate it when a book has a nicely designed cover, or the paper feels very nice or the fonts and typography look pretty. Secondhand Souls instantly caught my eye when I saw it on a stand in the bookstore a few months ago. It's bright pink and the cover illustration is a perfect combination of creepy and cute! And to make it even more amazing, I only just found out that it glows in the dark!

But enough about the aesthetics.. did the amazing outside actually match the contents? The simple answer to that is: YES. so what is this book about?

It seems like only yesterday that Charlie Asher took on a very dirty job—collecting souls and keeping the Forces of Darkness at bay. The new gig came with the Big Book of the Dead and a host of other oddities: creatures under the streets, an evil trinity of ravenlike Celtic death goddesses, and one very bad Underworld dude attempting to conquer humanity. Along with a cohort of other oddballs, Charlie faced off against these denizens of darkness—and met his own end. But thanks to Audrey, his Buddhist-nun boo, his soul is still alive . . . inside a fourteen-inch-high body made from lunchmeat and spare animal parts. Waiting for Audrey to find him a suitable new body to play host, Charlie has squirreled himself away from everyone, including his adorable seven-year-old daughter, Sophie, who enjoys dressing up like a princess, playing with her glitter ponies, and—being the Luminatus—spouting off about her power over the Underworld and her dominion over Death.
Just when Charlie and company thought the world was safe, some really freaky stuff hits San Francisco. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Then there's the Taser-wielding banshee keening about doom who's suddenly appeared while Sophie's guardian hellhounds, Alvin and Mohammed, have mysteriously vanished.
Charlie is just as flummoxed as everyone else. To get to the bottom of this abomination, he and a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall, two-hundred-and-seventy-five-pounds-of-lean-heartache Death Merchant Minty Fresh; the retired policeman-turned-bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the lunatic Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; Mike Sullivan, a bridge painter in love with a ghost; a gentle French-speaking janitor named Jean-Pierre Baptiste; and former Goth girl Lily Darquewillow Elventhing Severo, now a part-time suicide hotline counselor.
With little Sophie babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind, time is definitely not on their side. . . .
I only later found out this book is actually a sequel to 'A Dirty Job'. The books was mentioned on the cover, but there was no mention anywhere that it was the prequel to Secondhand Souls. I was a little bummed about finding out about this too late because I would've preferred reading the other book first. I also kind of felt the end was a little rushed and that there easily could've been another 200 pages. I would've liked to read more about other ghost's stories. The last bit of criticism I have is the fact that Sophie, the character pictured on the cover, really wasn't as big of a character as I think she should've been.

But all this aside, I think the story was wonderfully written and I had a hard time putting it down. I loved how in the story, our bodies were truly more considered as vessels. How in the end, all that truly matters is the soul. I also loved the mix of fantasy and reality and there were plenty of laugh out loud moments. Moore has a very modern and fresh way of writing. i really enjoyed this book and can't wait to get my hands on A Dirty Job, which I heard a lot of people liked better than this book.

I give this book an 8 out of 10!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pinspiration: Green, Florals & Glamour

I don't know what it is about green shades lately... I've just been loving it with pops or reds and pinks. And some floral! I feel like I'm already getting into the summer spirit even though the first snow storms only just pulled in. I guess that's a good thing right!? Where other social media websites always feel like they're numbing my mind, Pinterest always gets me super excited and inspired! There's just something about putting pretty pictures together that inspires me with ideas for anything in my life!

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How cute is that Panda Bread though? I want one!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Little (& big!) Things: Muse, Shoes and Cakes

I haven't done one of these in a while and thought it was about time! So many things have happened in the meantime (both little and BIG) that I will probably forget to name some of them.. But I'll do my best. At first January seemed off to a slow start but eventually it definitely started to pick up!

Winning the Shoe Design contest of Collectif Clothing! I could not believe it when I heard the news. It's not 100% certain that my design(s) will actually be available in their shop in the future, but they're working on actually making them :) at least I got to shop for some pretty new dresses. But of course the ultimate price would be to see my design in their store!

The Fallout 4 Soundtrack (and watching the boyfriend play the game)  Buying an entire cookies and cream cake just because we're craving cake (cake for daaaaaays)  Re-watching all the seasons of The Osbournes  Getting into Bates Motel! This show was recommended to us multiple times, but for some reason we never bothered. What a BIG mistake. This show is amazing! Going to a Casino for the first time. We didn't win anything but their cheesecake was SO GOOD.

Seeing Muse live! This was a dream come true. Their show was absolutely amazing and Matt's voice sounded godly. Definitely the best concert I've ever been to.

The real Cherry Dollface blog. Cherry Dollface is going to try and write a blogpost every day for the year 2016, and they're all honest little tid bits about her life. Super interesting, comforting and fun to read. I look forward to her post every day :)

A woman giving me a 20 dollar bill at the movie theater as a good deed!  Sweet compliments on Twitter  Early birthday presents!  Late birthday presents! Cheesecake with cherries  Homemade tomato soup on a cold & snowy day  Getting a haircut and rocking a pretty, curly blowout for daaaays (and everyone complimenting me on my hair) Muse's album Drones and listening to the title song while the snow is falling down  doing more elaborate nail art playing around with my new computer!

I think that's enough for now! I just noticed my excessive mention of cakes haha. How has your 2016 started off? Hopefully good and now let's get ready for a sparkling February!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cute Claws: Blackheart Beauty Polish

For christmas I got some awesome new nail polish and I was dying to try them. What was keeping me from trying them was the fact I had to remove my glitter nail polish which is always a pain. I've tried so many tricks that are supposed to make it easier, but it still always ends in endless rubbing until it finally comes off. Yet, I'm glad I did it because I love these colours!
The brand of these nail polishes is Blackheart Beauty and it's available at Hot Topic. I always get so many compliments on my nails whenever I wear one of their colours. So far I only have 4, but they're definitely all in my favourites. The first one I tried was this shiny purple. It's one of my favourite purple polishes I've ever had. It's a perfect deep, cool toned purple with a super shiny finish (for me it's the shinier the better!). I only needed two layers to make it completely opaque. Even just one layer covers your nails well, but it was still a little patchy so I added another layer later one. As a base and top coat I used my favourite Sally Hansen base + top coat. A good base and top coat will prevent this polish (or any polish) from chipping. Whenever I use the coats I really just wait until the polish has 'grown out' until I remove it and do something else.
The only thing I don't like about Blackheart Beauty polishes is the brush. It's very thin which makes it very hard to get a clean, even application. But obviously you can always clean up after with a Q-tip dipped in some remover.
The other polish I got was this top coat with pink glitter that glows in the dark! I put it over a teal base colour from the Avon Speed Dry line. Please ignore my short nails.. I broke about 7 of them because of the cold and figured I'd just cut them all short :( It's cute and applies really nicely, and it DOES glow in the dark, but it's not really my colour. I really only tend to wear red, pinks, purples or nudes. But if you are into cooler colours, I definitely recommend this one!

Removing either one of the polishes was no problem at all and the wear was great (but again, use a proper base and top coat). I will definitely be wearing the purple often and save the glow in the dark one for special (dark) occasions.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Review: Kawaii Box!

Back in December I woke up to an email from the lovely Twinkie Chan telling me I had won her Kawaii Box giveaway! I was super exited, sent her my info right away and a month later right before my birthday (which is this Sunday!) I got my box of goodies in the mail :) what a great early birthday present! Kawaii Box is a monthly kawaii subscription box with items from Japan and Korea with 10 to 12 handpicked super cute items every month. Now let's see what was in this month's box...

The moment I opened the box I already couldn't stop squealing. So much cuteness! I really like how they have custom shipping boxes and tissue paper and a cute Thank You card with the box's contents on it (which I didn't read because I wanted everything to be a surprise)

The first thing I thought was love at first sight.. nail things! You guys know I love my nails, and I've been putting more effort into them lately. Unfortunately over the past few days I broke five nails which bummed me out because I wanted them to look nice for my birthday... But now I have these adorable fake nails!! Normally my nails would be way too long to wear these, but for once they're short now so I can actually try them! I will definitely share pictures once I do. I also adore the cat nail clippers and nail stickers.

Next were these food items. I'm really not sure if these noodles will taste like noodles or candy, because the card says 'Candy DIY kit'. Should be interesting... Also how delicious does the waffle squishy look? Unfortunately it got a bit damaged during its journey here (did they try to eat some of the 'chocolate' at customs??)

Stationery!! You can't go wrong with that. This owl notebook reminds me of the owls on my make up bag. The dog pen is kinda weird in a cute way and I can never resist a nice roll of washi tape :)

Some sweet goodies! This coin purse is definitely one of my favourite items. I'm the 'coin lady'. Any coins my boyfriend gets he gives to me, resulting in my wallet getting really fat. Now I can put them in here! The lollipop is a little towel which I will probably never use because it looks so stinkin' cute.

And last but certainly not least... THESE STICKERS! Chubby animals and food? Chubby animal food? Pandas? Eeep! These are seriously the cutest. I just want to frame this sticker sheet and hang it on my wall. This is the kind of stuff I live for.

All in all I LOVE my Kawaii Box! Mystery boxes can be hit or miss and sometimes you get stuck with a bunch of stuff you'll never use or give away, but I can honestly say I will probably use 90% of this box (10% being the lollipop which will just go and look cute somewhere). Thank you so much to Twinkie Chan and Kawaii Box for letting me try out this box. I highly recommend getting one at least once, or sending it to a friend as a gift! Prices start at only $17,30 and shipping is free!

Oh and the Kawaii Box is cat approved.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cozy Valentine's Goodies

I know I know... it might be a bit early to be talking about Valentine's Day already BUT it's less than a month away! So if you want to order something unique online and have it arrive on time you might want to start browsing :) I've been working on a few designs, and more are in the works! Just keep an eye on my Redbubble shop and you should see more designs popping up soon. These are some designs that are already available:
I don't know about you, but Valentines is on a Sunday this year so I wouldn't mind staying in bed all day with a movie on, some cuddles and this cozy pillow.
Tired of the same old cheesy valentines cards? Then these nerdy ones might be the thing for you! I'm trying to come up with as many romantic nerdy puns as possible. Do you know any good ones I could use?

Put on your Valentine's day make up with this cute little lipstick pouch!

This week is GEEK WEEK at Redbubble! 
Get 15% off everything by using the code GEEKOUT

That's all I have for now! Sorry about the short/lack of posts lately. Things I've been meaning to write about either take up more time than expected or just didn't happen or... just get lost in day to day life. Hope you're all having a great start of the week and I'll be back with more soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

After All This Time? Always.

This morning I got a text from a friend saying 'Snape died'. I knew she hadn't read the Harry Potter book and only saw the first 4 movies, so I thought she only just found out about this and was shocked. So I replied with ' hahaha I know!', only to figure out seconds later she was talking about the actor Alan Rickman. My heart broke all over again like when it did when Snape died in the book. But this was real life, and I still can't really believe it.

We lost so many great names in such a short period of time. Lemmy, Bowie... but none of them hit me as hard as Alan Rickman's passing. Harry Potter has been, and still is such a huge part of my life. Snape is one of my favourite characters. Admittedly, as an 8 year old kid reading the books for the first time I hated Snape because I thought he was mean. But then the other books came out, I grew a little older and I found out about Snape's true story. His love for Lily always stuck with me. His loyalty, the hardship he's been through. He is such a major character in the series and I'm such it's been one of the most special roles Rickman has ever played. There is no other Snape. Rickman IS Snape.

Then of course he also has a small role in Love Actually. A movie that I've been watching multiple times around Christmas for years. I know he's been in plenty of other movies and such but these two are the major ones of me. Neither one of them will ever be the same again. Today was probably the first time I cried over a 'famous person's' death. The first time it left me feel empty. I don't think I will ever truly believe that he's not there anymore.

Tonight I'm planning on curling up on the couch, watch a Harry Potter movie and be thankful he got to be in all the movies. Be thankful that such an amazing actor was cast for Snape. He will truly be missed.
Rest in Peace Alan Rickman.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Let me start off this review by saying this: if you don't own this book already, run to your bookstore or open up amazon and get it RIGHT NOW.

Got it? Okay good. Now go read it. Trust me, it won't take long. You'll blaze through it within a day, but then I suggest you don't and take lots of dance, tea, cuddle and netflix breaks to make it last a little longer. It's really that good and will put you in a good, positive mood to start this new year off right!

This book has been on display at every bookstore I've visited in the past few weeks, and normally when books are consistently being shoved in my face I tend to not want to read them (same happened with Hunger Games, but then I gave in and loved it and stayed up until 4 in the morning to finish the series). The main reason why I did put it on my 'to read' list is because I found out that mental illness was an important theme and most importantly that it was about living with mental illness but still being positive and kicking ass at life! Plus there's an overly excited raccoon with glittery confetti on the cover. I was sold.

My sweet boyfriend took note and got it for me for christmas and I started reading it right the next day while he was going nuts over his new videogame. I got halfway through super quick and then had to put it away, just to make it last longer. It's a very honest book. The humour is great and there's a good balance between being serious and silly. There's also small Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Star Wars etc. references thrown in there which made me relate to the writer even more. She is very random and always has the strangest thoughts in her head that she just HAS to share with the rest of the world.
A gratuitous picture of me looking furiously happy

What I also like is that the chapters are very short, so you can easily read one or two before bed, or on the bus to school. They're all like little mini stories about Jenny's life. Some are funny, some are serious, but they're all great. There's even some pictures here and there so illustrate her crazy thoughts and adventures.

The more 'serious' chapters helped me a lot. The writers gets super open and honest about her struggles. She talks about how she only feels 'accomplished' two or three days a month. All the other days it feels like she hasn't accomplished anything, even though she's get so many things done. I honestly thought I was the only one who felt like this. Every once in a while I feel like I can take on the world and are getting so much stuff done and I feel inspired and driven. But most days I feel the anxiety creeping up on me. I feel like I'm wasting my time on silly things. I feel unaccomplished. And I often wonder what I could do to change that. You see these lifes of all these 'shiny people' on social media who seem to have it all together. They look gorgeous, have the perfect relationship, the perfect food, work out, friends etc. etc. and you can't help but wonder: 'why can't I do all that?', but the truth is, you can't. These shiny people don't exist. They have their own struggles, their own 'behind the scenes'. You're merely looking at a highlight real of their life.
And then I look at Jenna Lawson. She has written two books, goes on book tours, has a career doing what she loves and a little family and still she has that feeling creeping up on her. I honestly think it never really goes away. It's what keeps you going, pushes you forward and keeps you from settling. At the same time, it's also about forming you own idea of succes. Succes is different for everyone. Some people might think it's fame and fortune, for me it's being able to make a phone call, going out by myself or even just getting out of bed in the morning. Succes for me is having someone to love and laugh with, to be able to spend time with those/do the things I love.

Anxiety and depression are no joke and can make you feel very isolated and alone, but this book makes sure to let you know you're not. There's thousands of people out there who understand. Who know. It's like a comfort blanket in book form. A comfort book. There's chapters in it you're going to want to read back whenever everything gets too much or you just need a laugh.

I recommend this book x100000 and also recommend to pass it on to anyone who could use some more insight regarding mental illness. Let's live this life furiously happy!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pinspiration: Teal, Pink and Pin Up

Pink will probably always be my favourite colour, but my second favourite colour changes from time to time. Lately I've noticed I have been loving teal shades. There's something about teal and pink together (and some black for good measure) that makes me heart sing these days! These are
some recent pins and likes from my pinterest to prove my point...

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"Things that are acceptable to the masses 
are generally mediocre, in my opinion." 
- Dita Von Teese

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: What I Look Forward To

Happy New Year everyone! Instead of making a list of things I want to do (differently) this year that I know doesn't work for me anyway I thought I'd make a list of things I'm excited about! Because really I just want this year to be about excitement, positivity and lots of new experiences.

First of: MUSE! I've been wanting to see them live for so long.. Probably for about 10 years. But either I couldn't afford it, tickets were sold out in seconds or nobody wanted to go with me (I did go to concerts by myself a lot, but for some reason I never wanted to go alone for Muse). And now not only will I finally see them live, but I get to go with my best (boy)friend who also enjoys their music. Normally I don't like big 'stadium shows' like this, but I'm sure they'll put on an amazing show. Can't wait! 

Next up: Meeting Dita von Teese! When I saw she was coming to Toronto for a booksigning I couldn't believe it. And at one of my favourite boutiques too! She is a daily inspiration for me when it comes to style and beauty. She is the definition of glamour and classiness to me. I'll probably be an awkward stuttering mess once I meet her, but it will be totally worth it! I have yet to get her book, but it's basically the only thing on my birthday list so I should be fine :)

And... Cherry is coming to Canada! Another one of my pin up/vintage style idols. I've been following her on youtube for forever and have been dreaming of attending one of her classes. She's the lady who taught my everything I know about hair and make up and gave me the confidence to rock pin up and vintage styles more often. I have yet to save up and book so I hope I won't miss it! But either way I'll drop by the store just to say hi if I do miss out.

Other things I look forward to:
taking more steps with my immigration. It's such a waiting game and I never know what will come next. I hope we can take some major steps with my immigration so that I can possibly apply for a job or go back to school.
 learning more hair and make up skills. For the new year I want to cut off all the dead/split ends of my hair and make it a bit shorter. I also want to get a curling iron and other styling products and finally get the hair of my dreams. Hopefully I can make it look halfway decent when I meet Dita.
 Making even more sales in my Redbubble shop. This year was truly the year I got all my art stuff in order. I made my online portfolio and started an online shop. By the end of the year I actually started making a nice amount of sales and I'm hoping to keep that up!
 Going back to Europe. To finally visit my family again and to travel around and have more adventures. Fingers crossed everything will go smoothly so we can go again this summer...

What are you looking forward to in the new year?