Books + Coffee = Happiness

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The holidays...

Listening to: Beautiful Monster - Neyo
Feeling: Content
Well, I'm three weeks into my break and sadly with only one more week to go before school starts up again. I'm a little excited for the start of semester (like I usually feel) before going through my "what the heck was I thinking?" a few weeks in. But for now, I'll enjoy my break for a little while longer.

Not a lot of stuff have happened in the past three weeks, but it's been enjoyable. I finally got to see The Book Thief Movie starring Sophie Nelisse and Geoffrey Rush with my high school friend, LW. It was quite a good movie-book adaptation, but as always, there were a few things that they changed and a few things I wished they had included. But in general, I thought it was fairly well done. I also made Adventure Time crafts for my friend since she's a big fan of the show. I think it took about 6 hours for the two of them as it was my first time making cube-shaped crafts, but it was a fun experience and I thought they turned out pretty good.

Jake and Finn

I also got together with university friends, MF, KL and LL for a Thieving Santa get together and I ended up with a game of Dungeons and Dragons. It took us about 4 hours to finish creating our characters and haven't started the actual game, but it was a unique experience. I hope we get to play the game sometime. The event ended up being a sleepover and as always, those are always the best. What would have been better was if I hadn't been coughing a lung out. Glad to say that I'm doing a lot better now.

Christmas is usually a quiet time of the year for my family as we treat it like any normal day, but on Boxing Day, I did get quite a few things... mainly movies, but I'm quite happy with my purchases. I also got new sneakers! I had a hard time deciding between really cool high tops and cute sneakers, but eventually just went with the sneakers for a change of pace. 

So what else have I been doing for the whole break? Mainly watching some sort of entertainment every day. For the past week, it was usually movies. Finally saw Inception, even though it's been sitting in my closet for months. It was actually really good and I wish I saw it sooner. This Means War, Now You See Me (again), Atonement and Life of Pi (again) are some of the other ones I've seen. At the moment, I've just been watching Heirs, the popular k-drama from this year, and hoping to finish it soon. Although it's not too different from the other chaebol dramas I've seen, I still like it because it stars Park Shin Hye and Lee Minho. Totally love Kim Won and Yoon Chan Young even though they're supporting characters... they're just so dynamic. :)

There's not much more to add and I'm pretty satisfied that I'm getting quite a lot of my Winter Break list done. A little disappointed that I won't be able to reach my reading goal by the end of this year (currently at 60/70 books), but hope to do better next year.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Winter Break

Listening to: First Snow and First Kiss - Yoseob (B2ST) & Dalmation
Feeling: Sick but happy
Not quite sneezing but I didn't have an emoticon for coughing out a lung for the past few days. It was pretty terrible during exams, but man, I'm glad that nightmare is over. Three exams in three straight days is exhausting! But now, onto the fun stuff!

It's been a long time since I last posted anything, so a brief catch up on some cool stuff:

I got a tablet on Black Friday! It's a Microsoft Surface RT and although I haven't had much of a chance to play around with it, I love it already. Originally priced at $399, I was able to get it as an early Christmas present from my parents for $250. Comes with a keyboard and it is so light at 1.5 lbs. Much better than hulling my heavy-ass laptop (and charger) with me all the way to school. So now I have this and I definitely plan to personalize it during the break.

 photo Tablet_zpsbb196cd4.jpg
(My new baby!)
So my plans for winter break? Well, the list isn't conclusive, but here they are:
  • Read 15 books by the end of the year (I am SO far behind!)
  • Write Amnesia Ch 11 and Ch 12
  • Watch The Book Thief with high school friend, LW (lots of stuff have come up and after many anticipations and attempts, we still haven't seen it!)
  • Watch Catching Fire with my sister and her fiancĂ©
  • Rock Climbing 2x
  • Watch k-drama: Heirs
  • Finish Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ep.36-end
  • Clean my room + vacuum the house
  • Hang out with high school friends and university friends
  • Buy a tablet cover
  • Buy new sneakers (boxing day)
  • Sell my textbooks/Buy textbooks
  • Play Area-X
  • Beat Pokemon Fire Red for the second time
And that's about all I can think of for now. So hopefully, it'll be a fun, relaxing and productive break!

EDIT: Just saw this. Oblivion (Nevermore #3) is finally in colour!

Friday, 15 November 2013


Listening to: In My Remains - Linkin Park
Feeling: Tired
Oh man, it's been so long since the last post. Lots of stuff has happened between then and now, but school's been keeping me busy and much to my chagrin, there hasn't been a lot of time for my hobbies. Even fanfiction updates has become more like a monthly thing rather than a bi-weekly thing. But even so, I do enjoy the moments between chaos.

With it finally being November, there's quite a few things that I'm looking forward to:

The Book Thief Movie: I have been obsessing over this story for the past month until now. I finally got myself a copy (of the original cover, not those movie-tie-in covers...bleh) of the book and refreshed my memories of the beautiful story that it contained. Even though it was a re-read, it was a really enjoyable book that brought me to tears at all the right moments. I loved it enough to force strongly recommend my high school friend, LW, to read it and then watch the movie when it was released. To my pleasure, she also really loved it too. 

So, what's left? 

Waiting for the movie. Checking out the deets via imdb, I was given false hope that the movie would be released on November 8, but when the time came, I then checked the local theatres and they revealed that the movie was to be released on the 15th. And now's the 15th but there aren't any showtimes. The reason? Probably that the movie is released on the 15th in specific locations. So.. that means another week until it's released in my location. Sigh... one more week wouldn't kill me, but I really do hope that it will be good to make up for my disappointment. John Williams did an outstanding job on the soundtrack and the trailers look astonishing, so I'm sure it will be amazing.

The Fiery Heart: Only 4 more days until it's released! Though as an university student, I'm placing my order online to save a bit and as a result, will have to wait a few days before grabbing the glorious book. But knowing that the story will be in both Adrian's and Sydney's POV will make it worth it. Not to mention that "disappointment" doesn't exist in Richelle's world. 

Only a few more weeks until winter break. Gotta hold out until then. After all those term projects, assignments, papers and exams, I will get one glorious month of doing a solid nothing. So I leave this post with a cheerful sight that I saw one day in a park that reminded me that perseverance can exist in the most unlikeliest of places:


Monday, 30 September 2013

Nearly halfway there

Listening to: Hello - Nu'est
Feeling: Sick
 Not even a month into fall semester and it's sad to say that I am sick. I blame it on outdoor soccer volunteering, where the weather can't seem to make up its mind on whether or not it should rain or be sunny. Be cold or be warm. But mostly, I blame myself for being under dressed. And so, I've suffered from sniffles and have coughed out half a lung for the past two weeks.

But on the bright side, a few things have happened since my last post. One, I am now certified in First Aid and CPR! I've been wanting the certification for a while since I need it to volunteer at the physiotherapy clinic at school, so now I can! Things are pretty busy this semester, so I'll most likely send in my application for next semester.

I also went out with my university buddies, KL, MF and LL for wings and gelato. The wings were awesome and made even better with the deal they had for sundays, which was about 47 cents per wing. The gelato place we went to for dessert was pretty sweet too. I haven't been to a lot of dessert places, but this was was quite impressive with the range of cakes, treats and gelato flavours. I even got a Bailey's flavoured gelato. I asked the server if there was any alcohol in it or if it was just flavouring, but he said that there was a bit, but not enough to make someone drunk. I quite like the taste of Bailey's, so I chose that one since it's not too common. One thing I should have asked was if they also sold it to minors but oh well.

I can't wait for October and November to start since there's so many awesome things to look forward to.

Here's some stuff for October off the top of my head:
  • Vampire Diaries season 5
  • Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
  • Just One Year by Gayle Forman
  • Kuroko no Baske season 2
Huh. That's weird... I'm sure there was a lot more to look forward to. Anyway, and for November:
  • The FREAKING Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
  • The Book Thief Movie
  • Catching Fire Movie
  • Thor 2 Movie
Wow. Brain fart. I swear there's more, but apparently, my brain has stopped functioning. I'm really really looking forward to The Book Thief movie adaption because I thoroughly enjoyed the book. And the trailer looks really well done.

I really do hope they keep Death as the narrator. 

And I just saw this: Nevermore #3: Oblivion (IT HAS A TITLE AND COVER!)
Not quite sure why it's so grey scale rather than the black & pink theme, but oh well. It's VAREN NETHERS! Sadly, it's not to be released until August 26, 2014. That's so far away. But I've waited patiently for the second one to be released (2 years ago), so only another year to go!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

First week back to school

Listening to: No Other - Super Junior
Feeling: Okay
Well, it's been a week since school started up again for Fall 2013 semester. As always, it's always rather hectic this time of the year because not only are there a lot of new first year students, but also with everything else going on during this first week, which includes FROSH, week of welcome, orientation etc. That and not knowing if you'll get off the waitlist and be successfully enrolled in classes. So I definitely prefer the second week over the first.

Though before I go on about more school stuff, I wanted to post a little about a high school friend's birthday party (SB). It was a fun event of getting together for the last time this summer, especially with one friend headed off to study in France. With the pizza delivery, it was pretty awesome of them to write a Happy Birthday salutation on all three boxes of pizza as well as draw a cake and balloons. We mainly chatted the whole time with some Monopoly thrown in there. It was pretty amusing to see how that went since I managed to get the two properties that no one ever wants (the dark purple ones closest to the GO space). Well, I owned one and traded money with a friend for the other and was able to build hotels on both properties. And it was a pretty good investment since I did make quite a lot of money from that. The game didn't really end with someone being bankrupt but rather that we were bored of playing and retired for the night.

Last week, or two weeks ago, I guess. I posted about my hamster, Peachy, passing. But I have had a new Russian Dwarf hamster named Mochi for about a week and a bit now. Since she's little more than a baby, she's super active and loves climbing on the bars (not to mention she's really good at it... to the point she can use them like monkey bars). Mochi has managed to squeeze through her cage more than once, but luckily we managed to capture her again before she disappears to who knows where. But that means that her cage is pretty much boarded up like a prison to prevent future escapes. Mochi also likes to bite, but I've had this issue with my previous three hamsters, so I'm hoping that she'll come around sooner rather than later.

So anyway, school's been super busy and I'm generally drained each day. It kinda sucks that my classes start at 10:30AM and end at 5:50PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I'm waitlisted for a class on Tuesdays that ends at 7:30PM, but by the looks of it, I probably won't get in. I'm not super disappointed since I have quite a bit on my plate so maybe not getting in would be a good thing. Judging by what I've said so far, Thursdays would seem to be my one free weekday, but unfortunately, my student committee has chosen that day for weekly meetings so I still go up then. I've recently just completed my REC sports assistant training yesterday, so I'll be volunteering starting next week for about 4 hours each week with intramural sports. I'm quite excited about that since I got to meet a lot of cool people, meet new people and get to watch basketball and soccer too.

I won't have a whole lot of time for homework during school time, but I hope to manage my time well and succeed. :)

Friday, 23 August 2013

RIP Peachy

Listening to: Never Close Your Eyes - Adam Lambert
Feeling: Heart broken
It's been two years since Peachy has lived in my house and I'm heart broken to say that she has died on Sunday morning. I've been too sad to make a goodbye post until now, but I wanted to make a memorabilia for my dear Russian Dwarf Hamster.

She died of a condition called "wet tail" where it is an infection caused by bacteria and too much diarrhea. It was really heart breaking to see her suffer through the day. Her eyes barely opened and you could see her in pain because of the way she was hunched over and how she sat on top of her sand bath because her lower abdomen was hurting. Just before her symptoms showed, she was so lively last Friday night, running happily on the sofa while my mom and I fed her seeds and rice that it was unseen that she would pass away a full day later.

But instead of remembering her as my beloved hamster who died of wet tail, I want to remember how great of a hamster she was. Out of the ones that I have had over the years, Peachy was my favourite.

She was always a little cheeky hamster, always begging for more food, despite the large quantities I gave her everyday. When Peachy noticed that we were near her cage, she would chew on her bars quite energetically until we played with her or gave her extra food. Peachy would gladly hop onto my hand to be carried out of her cage and whenever I attempt to put her back in, she would sit on my hand, refusing to get down. In addition to that, if she wanted more food, she would playfully nip/lick my hand gently, demanding more.

Peachy quite hated her temporary cardboard box house, a place where I would put her when I was cleaning out her cage. She would attempt to scale the walls only to miserably fail. She loved her running wheels and carried her nesting material with her everywhere. Peachy didn't really like fruits that much and would only eat a few small pieces to please you, but refused more than two or three small pieces. However, she was quite fond of blueberries and would hurry home with them, should you change your mind. She never quite got the hang of her slanted bridge which connected the ground floor to the upper level, as she would run down it or run too close to the edge and fall off. But it was always entertaining to see her try and scamper up the sides of the bridge instead of going to the bottom of it to climb up.

Peachy wasn't the most intelligent of hamsters that I had had, but she had brought much love into the family. My parents weren't too keen on having a hamster in the house, but Peachy won them over. My mom loved feeding her rice and petting her. She would squeal whenever Peachy licked her hand, asking for more. My dad would call her out every now and then and would happily feed her seeds and peanuts, which she loved.

Peachy was a sweet tempered hamster and although I am terribly sad that she's no longer with us, I'm happy that she's no longer suffering. I hope she had had a happy life in my family and we'll always think of her. Rest in Peace, Peachy.

Peachy - October 10th, 2011 to August 18, 2013

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Hello Summer pt 2

Listening to: Outlaws of Love - Adam Lambert
Feeling: Bored
Well, finals are over... well, I only had one, so I guess final. It was a lot better than I had thought and considering my preparation time, it was pretty good. Now that that's out of the way, what next?

Celebrated finishing summer semester with finishing up season 2 of The Big Bang Theory. I love how short each episode is, which makes me feel that I'm accomplishing more than I actually am. Also watched and finished Secret Garden (korean drama). Borrowed it at the public library and it was actually really good. I had always heard a lot of good things about it and was curious, so when I saw that it was available to be borrowed, I took it without a second thought. It's a romantic comedy-fantasy with a poor stunt woman and a stoic department store CEO. Seems like the typical k-drama nowadays (especially the iconic rich son with his iconic evil mother-that-need-a-dose-of-chill-pills) but made different with a body switch. So think of it more of a Boys Over Flowers and Freaky Friday. But anyway, really enjoyed it. Loved Hyun Bin and Philip Lee because of it. They were my two favourite male actors in there. 

So, what do I have in store for the rest of the summer? Not much, sadly. Did my interview for a local gym yesterday, but I don't know if that'll lead to anything. Still volunteering at the hospital with the cardiac rehab weekly. I have the occasional Cancer Society soccer game fundraiser. But other than that, my summer is pretty free. So I guess, hanging out with friends, hanging out with family, curling up with a good book, watching movies etc.

 Image credit: Google

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Still not doing much

Listening to: Runnin - Adam Lambert
Feeling: Normal
It's been a few weeks since my last post, but not much has changed. I'm still working on my online class by doing hand written notes for each chapter. I'm a little behind in writing (since I'm reading chapter 11, but only on chapter 9 for written notes), but hopefully I can catch up before the semester ends. Oh man, only a few weeks left and it's kinda scary considering how it feels as though my semester ends a lot sooner than usual. But not really if you consider it in term of weeks. So only 2 more weeks and then finals on August 7! Gotta start prepping asap.

Volunteering has been going fine. Had my first shift at the hospital and for my position as a cardiac rehab assistant, I find that it's quite similar to working in a gym since I just keep track of blood pressures, heart rate etc. and wiping down machines after the patients are finished. A guy I know from my student association at school works there too, so it's nice to see him outside of school. I've been doing some random bits of volunteering here and there and they're mainly just to fill up my time and maybe get me some references for future projects. At the moment, I'm doing this mystery volunteer thing which is kinda like mystery shopping, but acting as a spy and seeing how organizations recruit volunteers. Like how to apply, how long it takes for them to get back to me etc. The other one is with a Cancer society and I basically sell tickets at official soccer games, which is always fun. I've only done it twice and I'm signed up for a shift next week, but I enjoy it and plan to continue for the reason of the team's season.

Met up with high school friend, LW, last week and had lunch together locally. It was great seeing her as I haven't really seen/talked to her since winter break, so it was awesome just catching up and reminiscing the old times.

Going to meet up with some uni friends tomorrow for a culture festival, which I always enjoy attending, so I'm looking forward to that. :)

image source: google/flickr

EDIT: Updated Summer List

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Lazy Summer

Listening to: All I Need - Within Temptation
Feeling: Lazy
It's a little sad to say that, after a month since my return from my trip to Malaysia, I don't think I'll ever get the last week of what I did up on my blog so I decided that I should just skip it and continue on.

Summer's in full swing for me, though I'm still working on my one online class. It's been going quite well and I'm pleased to say that I did fairly good on my midterm despite seriously studying for two days prior to the exam. But I will definitely start sooner for the final. I have also gotten accepted for my volunteer shift at the hospital as a cardiac rehab program assistant and I'm definitely looking forward to that. It's only four hours a week, but it will be great!

The rest of summer has been pretty lazy and I don't really feel like doing much other than sitting at the computer desk and doing random stuff like writing fanfiction (which is going rather well) and playing Torchlight (an RPG). I did have a gym month membership which is required for my exercise class and for a while, I went to the gym regularly. Though recently, I sadly admit that I've been slacking off and that I have to get back into it.

On the bright side, there's a new family member. His name is Albert:


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

May 15-20 2013 in Malaysia

Listening to: Brave - Josh Groban
Feeling: Lazy
Well, my trip to Malaysia has passed and I've been back home for more than a week. I fell behind in blogging about my trip, so I'll catch up now.

From May 15-20, I spent my time on West Malaysia, where the capital, Kuala Lumpur, is located. It's a bigger city than Kota Kinabalu, where I stayed and I'm quite happy that I got a lot of shopping done. Everything is so inexpensive that I bought quite a number of clothing for myself and my sister.

Wednesday, May 15:
The flight from East Malaysia to West Malaysia was fairly short -only 2 hours. Spent the first day, getting a bus and riding to where we had booked our hotel, Chinatown Boutique Hotel. Like the name suggests, it was a fairly nice hotel conveniently located in the Plaza Rakyat region which had a chinatown. It was kind of light a night market, with a lot to look at and we bought mainly snacks and some clothing. Unfortunately, it rained most of the day, forcing us to go back to our room early.

Thursday, May 16:
The second day was a long one. Sadly, I was sick for most of that day, but we took a bus ride up to the gondola and rode over to Genting Highlands, where fancy hotels and casinos were located. There wasn't a lot to do there unless you were into gambling or branded shopping, but it was nice to check it out nevertheless. There was even a tourist attraction called Snow World, which is an enclosed area with an European village and man-made snow. The admissions were quite expensive, but I guess it's worth it if you've never seen snow. There was also a theme park, but I didn't get a chance to go in. 

On the way home, we stopped by the station, Bukit Bitang, and did some minor clothing shopping at Sungei Wang, a famous mall.

Friday, May 17:
That day was the big day full of shopping. I don't think I've ever shopped to the extent of what we did that day. We got onto the monorail train to the station, Imbi, and went to another really famous mall, Berjaya Times Square. It was there that I did most of my shopping, not only in KL, but during my time in Malaysia. I got pretty much everything that I had on my shopping list, which included accessories and souvenirs, so I was quite happy. 

Went to another mall called Pavilion, but we didn't do as much shopping there. However, there was a unique store called "Sticky" which was a hand-made candy store. The candies were really good, but I chose not to get any (regretting that decision now).

Saturday, May 18:
Not so much of a shopping day, but more of a traveling day. Went through several public transit transfers until we got to a mall called Sunway Pyramid. It is a large mall that sells mainly branded merchandise. Had lunch at a Japanese restaurant. Then we saw a promotion for a new TV comedy show. They wanted volunteers to be in it and in return, you'd get 10RM (equivalent to about $3.33 CAD). It was a little strange at first, but I volunteered for it. Free money is awesome.

Sunday, May 19:
Checked out of our hotel in Chinatown and went to another city called Merlaka. There, my aunt's cousin, who is a local, showed us around and helped us check into another hotel. Then we toured the area and visited the Formosa, which is a historic battle field. However, it was so hot that we didn't really feel like doing anything at all. So we went to the mall that had air-conditioning. Again, we didn't really buy too much, but I got a shirt for my sister. Also had chicken rice balls for lunch, which were really good.

Went to the local night market later in the evening, and there was a lot to look at. Sadly, I didn't quite get the chance to see everything I wanted to, but it was still a good time. Had the local shaved ice, Cendu.

Monday, May 20:
Didn't really do too much this day, but we checked out of our hotel and caught the flight back to Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia. After getting back to my aunt's house, we relaxed for a bit before going out to dinner at Beaufort 88, which was pretty yummy.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

First few days in Malaysia

Listening to: Don't Stay - Linkin Park
Feeling: Like it's too hot
Well, it's been a few days since I've arrived in Malaysia. My flight was in the morning on May 7 (finally a good time since it wasn't too early/late) and it was a pretty long flight... 11 hours. Definitely lost feeling in my legs after a while. The flight itself was decent. The meals were surprisingly good, but since I was transferring flights at South Korea, it was Korean cuisine (and I love Korean food). I finally watched Les Miserables on the airplane screen and I really enjoyed it. I haven't read that book, but I look forward to reading it now since I have a better idea of what it's about. I still think it's a little odd to see Russel Crowe and Hugh Jackman singing, but everything was well done.

I also finally saw A Werewolf Boy starring Song Joong Ki on the flight with English subtitles. It had a pretty cute plot and I quite enjoyed it. It's too bad that he didn't get a lot of lines though.

Waited in Seoul Incheon Airport for 5 hours, but it wasn't too bad since I had my laptop and I mainly spent my time by answering email. I slept on most of the 5 hour flight to Malaysia, though I did wake up every now and then to listen to some K-pop offered on the plane. I was surprised to see Josh Groban's album on there too.

Finally arrived in Malaysia at midnight on May 9, but didn't get to my uncle's house until 1-something in the morning and it was really exhausting.

Spent the day next with my aunt, who took the day off, and bought some food/junk food/clothes at City Mall. Then did some textbook reading.

My mom suffered from a migraine that was caused by a combination of jet lag and heat, so we didn't go out the next day. That was fine since I finished reading chapter 1 for my online class. In the evening, I went out with my relatives to watch Iron Man 3 and I really enjoyed it! Still haven't seen Iron Man 2 though..

Didn't do a whole lot on Saturday, but went out with my Aunt Kelly to see a new baby in the family (my mom's cousin's daughter's new baby to be exact) and was invited out to a dinner by some of my dad's friends at a seafood restaurant.

Sunday was pretty fun. Had breakfast at Old Town White Coffee, which is a touristy type of place that sells a lot of different foods ranging from noodles to breads to dim sum. After, we went to the Sunday Market on Gaya Street (not sure if that's how you spell it), but I got some bathing sand for my hamster, a bracelet, some souvenirs for friends and some food. I also took a lot of photos, which I'll put up here. I finally got a haircut and we headed to 1Borneo mall, which is a really nice mall, for some window shopping. The stuff there is quite nice, but rather expensive.

Monday, May 13th wasn't too action packed, but we went around to Suria Mall for some more window shopping and I got an Oreo Chocolate Slush which was really good. We didn't really get anything else, though my mom got a pair of Korean earrings. It was raining really hard afterwards, so we stopped by a restaurant called Tasty Wok. It's a really nice and clean restaurant (which is kinda of rare here), but the service was rather slow. On the bright side, the food was pretty good. For dinner, my mom and I went out with her brother's family to have a buffet at the Promenade Hotel. It's really really classy and nice. I remember going there once about 6 years ago so it was great to go there again. The food is SO good!!

Sunday Market stuff

More Sunday Market Stuff

Old Town White Coffee Food

Saturday, 4 May 2013

School Fair goodies

Listening to: Pierrot - JYJ
Feeling: Happy

Another warm Saturday. Since it's the first Saturday of May, it also meant that it was the annual private school fair, which I talked a little about last year. I didn't get as much stuff this time around, but still a decent find. The best one for today would probably the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Only need #6 and my set will be complete. I was also pretty happy to get some Lord of the Rings books, though I wasn't able to find the third one. Oh well, I'll wait until next year. Also LOTR-themed was the Risk board game I got today. I've never played Risk, but it looks like A LOT of fun and even more with the LOTR theme. I can't wait to play it with someone. I also got a Geronimo Stilton book for a girl I tutor who absolutely adores the series.

Side note: Only two and a half days until Malaysia!!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Day out with uni friends

Listening to: Faint - Linkin Park
Feeling: Sleepy

Another fun day out with university friends. It was a pretty gorgeous day out (although a little chilly) and there's only a few days before school starts up again. It doesn't really feel like it to me though... probably because I'm only doing one online class and I'll be spending most of May in Malaysia!!

LL, LN and I spent the day downtown and roamed around what we called an "island" but is technically a peninsula. There isn't a whole lot to see, but it's a good place to visit for some art and crafts. Not to mention the yummy gelato. I had tiramisu and it was delicious. Not too long later, we left for the other parts of downtown. Initially, we had some difficulty picking out a restaurant, but eventually we ended up at an unknown sushi place.

The food was pretty decent, but the service was pretty bad. I most likely wouldn't be going back there. Over all, it was a fun but tiring day.

Mine is one of the lunch boxes, while LN had the same and LL had a udon combo

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Book Review: With All My Soul - Rachel Vincent

Published March 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads Description
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has....

Wow. I don't even know where to begin. The fact that this is the last book in the series makes me even more worried about getting this review right. Not to mention trying to keep it spoiler free. Well, here goes nothing:

After the shocking events that happened in the end of Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6), we were filled with endless questions about the fate regarding our favourite characters, and as well as the big one: "How do you defeat something that can't be killed?"

With All My Soul answers most, if not all, of these questions. However, it is also the most heart-breaking one of the series. So you've been warned.

Kaylee and her friends have been through many tough battles. But the war isn't over for them. Not when there are many hellions out there wanting to take possession of your soul. After the loss of numerous lives, Kaylee has had enough; it is time to make the hellions pay for everything that they've done. Although hellions of the Netherworld are immortal, they do have a single weakness: the emotions for what they themselves represent. By the end, we've met:
  • Avari, the hellion of greed
  • Invidia, the hellion of envy
  • Belphegore, the hellion of vanity
  • And a new character, Ira, the hellion of wrath, who was just as intriguing
So, the master plan involves making the demons suffer from their symbols. Which is a lot easier said than done. And Kaylee and her friends risk everything in this last fight. Their homes, their friends, their families and their lives. 

Like with all of her books, Rachel did a fantastic job with her writing. It was smooth, action-packed and full of emotion. Her characters were plausible in terms of their actions and emotions and you couldn't help but feel the same if you were in their place. Each one of them has come a really long way and it makes me proud as a reader and a fan of this series to see how much they've grown since the first time that we met them. Even the characters I thought I hated, I became attached to them by the very end, which I definitely didn't see coming.

First off, I'd like to start with Nash. Out of all of the characters, I think he is the one who has suffered the most. Especially when his life began spiraling downwards after his addiction with frost. But here, the Nash that I loved, broke through once again, determined to protect those he loves. His unwavering courage and loyalty helped redeem him in my eyes. It was heart-wrenching when Nash found out the truth to his life, but it was beautiful at the same time. He saw things in a different light and because of it, he was more determined than ever to keep on living and making the best out of it.

I've always admired Kaylee for her passion, love and courage. And it didn't change here. She is someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to keep everyone she loves safe. And that aspect of her gets taken to the extreme in this book. By the end of it, she realizes that there's a way to win this battle. However, the consequences are mind-shattering. But even then, she knows it must be done and doesn't hesitate to do it, if it meant saving everyone. I didn't agree with all of her decisions in With All My Soul, but I have to say that she is braver than any other heroine that I've ever read.

And finally, my favourite character: Tod. When we first met him in My Soul to Take, he was a cheeky, kind of arrogant character who was too good looking for his own good. I never thought I would have loved him so much, but I do. Despite being a reaper, he was full of light. And he was so strong. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Whenever there were times that Kaylee felt that things were impossible, he was her anchor; Tod kept her spirit going. He loved her more than anyone else and the readers can feel that more than anything. In a heartbeat, he would sacrifice his life as many times as it would take, as long as the people that he loved could keep on living. His love is so beautiful that it was painful. My heart ached for him in Chapter 21, which was beyond anything I would have imagined. If Tod could die again, it would have killed him to let Kaylee go the way he did. But at the same time, he knew that it was what she wanted, so despite what he felt, he couldn't stop her.

I really enjoyed this book, though I have to admit that If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) is still my favourite of the series. But I shed a few tears by the end of the series because of the events that took place here. In all, I say that With All My Soul is a heart-wrenching, beautiful and perfect conclusion to the Soul Screamers series, a series that I was so fortune to have gotten the chance to read.

Source: Owned
My rating: 4 and a half coffee cups (Loved it)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Hello Summer!

Listening to: Heaven's Gonna Wait - Hedley
Feeling: Tired but happy
Like the title says, summer is finally here. Maybe not in season, but that's how I feel since I finally finished my last final exam for the semester this morning. It didn't go as well as I would have liked, but I really do hope that it turns out okay. I celebrated with my friend, LL, by going to watching The Place Beyond the Pines starring Ryan Gosling. Truthfully, I haven't seen anything with him since his days from Breaker High (the TV series), so it's like watching him with an image of his 17-year old self and suddenly WHAM. He's 33(?). It was an okay movie. I definitely liked the first third a lot better than the other two thirds of the movie.

Anyway, since it's now my break and I'm only taking one online course next semester, here are my plans for the next few months!:

Things that need to be done as soon as I can:
  • Clean my room
  • Vacuum the house
  • Start packing for my VACATION
  • Write my book review for With All My Soul
  • Send that email to the physio guy
  • Make a summer playlist
  • Post ad to sell my textbooks
  • Buy e-textbook
Things that I want to do eventually:
  • Watch Detective Conan episodes from 48 (Hattori Heiji!!) to 150
  • Read Omens and write a review
  • Work? Volunteer? <-Hopefully
  • Hang out with high school friends
  • Hang out with uni friends
  • Watch Inception 
  • Watch Shutter Island
  • Watch Atonement
  • Watch Perks of a Wallflower
  • Write the prologue, chapters 1,2,3,4 & 5 of my fanfic Amnesia
  • Finish chapters 2 & 4 on "The Conspiracy" fanfic that I'm co-authoring with Eletha Landon
  • Write book reviews on at least two books that I read this summer
  • BBQ with uni friends
  • Night market with uni friends
  • Finish BBT season 2
  • Finish Supernatural season 1
  • Find another organization to volunteer with
  • Watch TMI #1 sometime after it comes out
And more that I can't think of at the moment.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Classes for Spring 2013 are done!

Listening to: Apollo's Triumph - Audiomachine
Feeling: Like I gotta study
Finally, after a long 13 weeks, I'm glad to say that the last day of the semester is officially over. What is left are finals! Luckily, my exam schedule this time around seems pretty fair with a few days in between exams, so I'm quite happy about that. In less than two weeks, it will all be over and I'll be free for a few months. Just gotta get over these exams first.

On the bright side, this package definitely made my day better, especially since it's by one of my favourite authors. So I'll share this and get back to work.

(Side note: I noticed that this is my 100th post! Yay!)

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Book Review: Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

Published August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children's

Goodreads Description
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

I remember hearing a lot of hype over this book when it first came out last year. After skimming the hundredth book review about how amazing this book was, I decided to put it onto my to be read pile. I didn't get a chance to read it until last week, but I have to say that I definitely agreed on how good this book was!

From the summary, Throne of Glass reminded me a little of Hunger Games with the whole need-to-kill-your-enemies-or-be-killed-tournament. But there was a lot more going on than just the tournament:

Celaena Sardothien is the region's most famous and talented assassin. Taken in at the age of eight by the king of assassins, Celaena has committed many heavy crimes and when she was finally caught, she was taken to the salt mines of Endovier. She spent a year slaving away in prison, barely surviving each day when she was finally taken out and offered a chance at freedom from the crown prince.

The catch? Become his champion in a tournament to find the best assassin in the region. Celaena hates the idea of being a tool to anyone, but she realizes that this is her only chance at freedom, so she accepts the conditions that should she come out as the victor, she'd have to serve the king for an additional four years before being a free woman.

Disguised as another lady in prince Dorian's court, Celaena spends her days training and practicing with the captain of the guard, Chaol Westfall. However, as the tournament progresses, strange deaths occur after one another, all including the participants of the tournament and Celaena is forced to solve the mystery.

I have to admit, the part that drew me in wasn't quite the tournament itself, but rather the parts where she has to train with Chaol. Sad but true. There's just something so alluring and sexy about battle commanders... like Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy and damn, he is drop dead gorgeous.

Unlike Dorian's flirty, womanizing and gentlemanly ways, Chaol is almost his opposite with his stoic, loyalty and sense of duty. He is constantly aware that Celaena is a criminal who could kill him and the prince if he let down his guard. However, as he spends his days with her, he sees more of her gentler side and is reluctantly drawn to her. I really loved Chaol's character. He is just so dynamic. One moment, he'll be dragging Celaena away in shackles and chains with a cold and uncaring face, the next, he'll be blushing and tripping over his feet. I enjoyed reading about his conflicting thoughts about seeing Celaena as a criminal. He doesn't want to care for her, but he cannot help it

Dorian is the prince of Adarlan. With such a role, he is responsible for his people and is forced to entertain the nobles at the court. However, he hates court life, especially now that he's at the age where he could marry. Polite and warm hearted, Dorian is loved by his people. Wanting to prove his independence, Dorian is the one who offers Celaena the chance at freedom if she wins the tournament. Like Chaol, Dorian had very little intention of interacting with her more than needed, but over time, he sees that she is very different from the rest of the noble women. She is able to make him forget about his title, and make him laugh like no other noble can. And so, like Chaol, Dorian falls for her a little more throughout the story. However, unlike his childhood friend, Dorian is less subtle with his attempts to woo her.

Romance aside, I enjoyed reading about the mysteries surrounding the tournament, especially when the participants are being taken off one by one. And how none of the deaths were natural. At first, I didn't think that there would be supernatural aspects with this type of story, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was and it made up endless possibilities as to how Celaena would solve this mystery.

The writing was very smooth and easy to follow. When I first picked up the book, I was interested in the summary, but I didn't think that I would love it so much. Other than times I was forced to put the book down, I didn't want to because it was so suspenseful and I wanted to see if Chaol was able to convey his feelings. The ending wasn't much of a surprise because I kind of knew how it would end, but even then, there were some aspects that weren't predicted and I can't wait to see where Sarah J. Maas will take us with the next book in the series, Crown of Midnight, now that the stakes are even higher.

Source: Borrowed
Rating: 5 coffee cups (Loved it and couldn't put it down)

Friday, 29 March 2013

Beautiful Easter Weekend

Listening to: Hae Gyul Sah - Shinhwa
Feeling: Tired but happy
Finally, a break from school. I'm almost there.. two more weeks of school left and then finals. With spring here, it's been really beautiful out and I got the chance to spend my day outside with friends at a popular park. We rented bikes and went around the whole park, which was about 9 km and stopped here and there to enjoy the view and play on the beach. It's been a few years since I've last ridden a bike (my old one is too small), so it started out kinda awkward, but I got the hang of it shortly after.

We also had a picnic on one of the hills while enjoying the sunshine. One cool thing I saw today was two swans and two raccoons who faced off in a pond in the picture below. The swans were so pretty! 

After a few hours on the park, we headed off to a cafe before going home. All in all, it was a good, but tiring day. :)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

A few more weeks to go

Listening to: Nothing
Feeling: Content
Another week has gone by and only a few more until the semester ends. I can't wait for the summer because there's lots that I want to do with three main goals:

  • One online course
  • Get a summer job
  • Get a hospital volunteer position
  • Enjoy my vacation
I've started to apply to various places for a summer job, but I really hope I can get something or else it'll be a very long, wasted summer. Though I guess I'm getting a little ahead here since yesterday was the first official day of spring, but I was referring to summer semester, which begins in May, so that's not too far away. It will be amazing.

I'll be going on vacation in May too, so I'm definitely looking forward to it. I'm not a huge fan of hot weather, but everything else will make up for it. Such as good food, amazing tropical islands, shopping, seeing relatives etc.

Hellooooo raspberry blue waters and palm trees!
Image credit: Google

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Relaxing day

Listening to: Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
Feeling: Happy
It was a nice relaxing day out with my family and my sister's boyfriend. So happy that I don't have much work to do at the moment, but that won't last for very long. Oh well, only 4 weeks to go before classes end and finals begin. Wanted to post what we had for lunch today with my family: Korean cuisine! And it was a really good deal too. Must take friends there the next time I want to go :)