Monday, December 29, 2014

♥Top 5 Favorite Quotes of 2014!♥

The holiday season is the time when I feel the most inspired and spirited, mainly because of the festive decorations and music everywhere. In light of the new year coming soon, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes that I discovered this year.  (P.S. I discovered all of these quotes from Instagram, so I don't know who originally wrote/said them. But I did design the following edits). I hope you find this post enjoyable to read!(:



Please share some of your favorite quotes of this year! I would love to see.(:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Book Reviews: Apollyon and Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I thought these books couldn’t get any better after the ending of the third book, Diety, but I was really wrong. After I read Apollyon, the fourth book, it became the best Covenant book I read so far. And when I read Sentinel, that fifth and final book was way up there too. Reading the entire Covenant series was a rollercoaster ride full of action and romance. There was suspense with each turn of a page. Mystery and plot twists ensued. Before I got my Amazon package in the mail, I knew I would fly through these last two books and while I’m so glad I did (because they were just a joy to read), it’s bittersweet to know that there will be no more books with Alex and Aiden.
As a major fan of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Greek mythology in general, I was not disappointed by the mythology in this series. It was all very enjoyable to read, especially because it was written in a logical way.
Armentrout does such a phenomenal job at creating characters that are so extremely realistic, readers just can’t help but connect to them. Alex is such a  fierce, strong, brave, smart, and badass heroine. She really matured throughout all the books and it was great to see her actually think things through before acting (since she was used to acting impulsively). I was so glad to see the situation at the end of third book didn’t end up dragging out too much into the fourth book. I loved seeing Alex and Aiden in action together, which occurred a lot in Apollyon. They communicated really well, which was nice to read. It was wonderful to see how complicated people can be and read about the different sides of all the characters. I felt so invested in all of their lives and it hurt to see anything bad happen to them. It was beautiful to see how the friendships and relationships progressed. Even though not much time has passed between the first and last book in the Covenant series, the characters all developed a lot.
Despite all the seriousness and danger the characters were going through, Armentrout added the perfect sarcastic and funny comments to lighten up the mood, even if it was just for one second. Everything was so good and the novels just kept getting better. They were beautifully written with so many quotable quotes. The ending to the series was beyond perfect. The Covenant series left me with a really happy feeling inside. If I could, I would want to erase this series from my memory and reread it again. Even though that’s not possible, you best believe that I will be rereading these books over and over and over again.

Monday, December 22, 2014

❄10 Ways to Get into the Holiday Spirit!❄

So if you know me well, you know that I've been listening to Christmas music since the end of the summer. I love the holiday season and the festive spirit that comes with it. All the red, green, and glitter in stores brighten up my mood every day! Today I will be sharing some of the things I have done and will be doing during my Christmas break from school. I hope this might inspire you to relax and take a break from the stress that school may bring. :)
1. Putting up & Decorating the Christmas Tree
This year I decorated a fake Christmas tree with the help of my friend. It was definitely a relaxing weekend activity right before finals.

2. Making your House/Room more Festive
I pretty much just added gift ribbon bows everywhere in my room: on the top border of my blinds, one on top of my computer monitor. I draped a metallic red tinsel garland around the frame of my door and added a silver bow to the center. On the stairs, I wrapped a gold, iridescent tinsel garland.

3. Drinking Holiday Beverages
Whether it's a festive beverage from Starbucks or a cup of hot chocolate made from powder, a holiday beverage always manages to warm me up and make me feel good.

4. Christmas Shopping for Friends & Family + Wrapping Gifts
I don't know if it's just me,but shopping for other people and wrapping gifts is very fun and therapeutic.

5. Listening to Christmas Music
In addition to the songs I've written a blog post about around a month ago (click here to see that), I've also been listening to the Ariana Grande cover of Last Christmas, an all time classic. Also if you haven't heard Ariana Grande's new Christmas song, Santa Tell Me, you're missing out on a lot! My Itunes tells me that I've listened to that song around 50 times....Christmas music can really uplift anyone's mood and be a soothing background rhythm when reading, which leads me to

6. Reading a Book while Cozied Up (Tbh, I don't think "cozied" is a word, but I think you all know what I mean, so I'm just going to use it:P )

7. Painting your Nails
I would take a picture, but my nails are extremely chipped right now. Anyways, I'm currently wearing a shiny red polish with tiny raspberry, iridescent glitter on top. I just love sparkles and glitter during the holiday season.

8. Going Ice-Skating
One of my absolute favorite Olympic sports to watch and also one of my favorite activities during the winter season.

9. Baking Delicious Goodies

10. Traveling

Have a wonderful holiday season and break from school.
~Catherine

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book Reviews: Half-Blood, Pure, and Deity by Jennifer L. Armetrout

       Next thing on my To Do list: buy the rest of the Covenant series books (only two full books left D: I don’t want them to end). So insanely good that I want to bookmark every single page and highlite every single funny quote that leaves me laughing out loud. I have realized that I need to slow my reading pace down or else I’m going to be left in a reading slump, like how I was after Allegiant and Ignite Me. :P
       The Convenant series is perfect for fantasy, paranormal, mythology, and romance lovers. These books had more mythology than I expected and it was a nice touch to the story world. It was extremely interesting learning about the history of the world Alex lives in and how traditions have been passed down, as well as contradicted. I often find fantasy books hard to follow along because of unfamiliar terms and new settings, but these books were easy to understand. Armentrout did a wonderful job at describing people, places, and the rules of the society the characters live in.
The relationships in these books are amazing, from romance to friendships. I feel like the main character, Alex, and I have many similarities, which overall adds a realistic and relatable touch to her actions and decisions.  The art to creating a good character is to get readers to become invested in his/her life. And I want to BE Alex. Considering her life is not full of fun and games and is completely fantasy, this is saying a lot because she’s just a sensational character. She definitely has earned a spot in my Favorite Female Protagonists List (which is stored in my head:P), but of course after Tris in Divergent (because everyone knows she’s my ultimate favorite :) ). I am in love with all the characters (especially Aiden<3). The communication between Alex and Aiden is on-point all the time, which is stunning and not often seen in books. Armentrout does a great job at not adding unnecessary, stupid drama. Romance is present, but it is not cheesy, obnoxious, or unreasonable; there’s an enticing mystery to these novels and the romance is just an extra plus to the sinister plot. The relationships and friendships Alex builds with minor characters are so wonderful to read: with Caleb, Olivia, Seth, Lea, Leon, Deacon, Luke. Not to spoil anything, I may not like all the characters I just listed, but Alex is just such a likeable character that it’s impossible to not like at least one moment in the friendships she has formed.
        And before you start thinking that this book is just about the action and romance, you are missing out on a lot of extremely funny, sarcastic remarks. They put the cherry on top of this delicious sundae. I found myself rereading funny sentences and laughing out loud. The humor adds lightheartedness to these novels.
       In addition, Armentrout is fantastically talented at balancing action, romance, grief, and badassery. It has been a long while since I've gotten hooked on a series and fully invested in it, but I know for sure the Covenant series is/will become my new obsession. My suggestion for anyone who is interested in reading this series is to marathon it, because once you start reading, you won’t want to do anything else. If you ever do decide to read this series, please discuss your thoughts with me because I’m more than happy to talk about Alex and Aiden :).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New TV Show: State of Affairs

I love watching all sorts of TV shows and movies, ranging from comedy to action, but I especially love watching anything with a strong, main female protagonist. NBC's new show, State of Affairs, is so refreshing and different. 
State of Affairs is a political, espionage thriller starring Katherine Heigl as CIA analyst Charleston Tucker, whose duty is to assemble and present the President’s Daily Briefing on the most vital security issues facing the country, and Alfre Woodard as first black female President Constance Payton. The first episode starts off with Tucker (Heigl’s character) trying to get to the bottom of a deadly terrorist attack that killed her fiancĂ©.
The show is believable and not overly dramatic. While I didn’t think the pilot was amazing, the second episode that aired yesterday was fantastic. I don’t want to spoil anyone, but I will say that I did finish watching the episode with tears on my face. (And looking on Twitter, I see that many people had the similar reactions:P) New characters were introduced, pieces of Tucker’s past were thrown in the mix; overall, the second episode was entertaining and intriguing. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this show will continue. 
Those are all my thoughts for now and I will talk to you all very soon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Insurgent Teaser Trailer! :D

I've been waiting for this day for so long and it's finally here. The Insurgent teaser movie trailer (second movie after Divergent) was released this morning and I thought it was pretty cool. I wanted to quickly share some of my thoughts with you guys.
If you haven't watched it yet, you can watch the teaser here.

While everything in the trailer did not happen in the actual book, it was still cool to see Shailene Woodley (as Tris) doing cool stunts. It was pretty obvious that they used a green screen to film, but I have high hopes that the graphics for the actual movie will be really realistic and nice like the first movie. Also, Theo James (Four) was nowhere in the trailer and he really should have been. Tris and Four are a power couple together! haha Nonetheless, I still liked the teaser and I cannot wait till the official trailer is released.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Current Music Favorites!

Hello everyone, I’ve recently discovered and have been listening to a wide variety of songs. I thought I’d share them with you guys so if you feel like listening to something new, you can check out these songs! Btw I have linked the songs, so that if you click the song names in this post, you will be brought to a new Youtube page!


First up, the holiday season is slowly creeping up and I am so EXCITED. It would only be reasonable to listen to Michael Buble’sChristmas Album on repeat. My favorite songs in the album are White Christmas, All I Want for Christmas is You, Baby Please Come Home, Feliz Navidad, and Winter Wonderland, but let’s be honest, ALL the songs are amazing! I just cannot wait for the holidays!

In addition to that album, Pentatonix’s WinterWonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy collaboration with Tori Kelly is the perfect holiday song mashup.

Next, Taylor Swift released her new album, 1989, and I really like the song, Blank Space. The other songs have not grown on me yet, but we’ll see. If you’re looking for a upbeat, pop song, definitely listen to Blank Space! Also, if you haven’t watched the music video yet, you should. It’s pretty intense, but very entertaining haha I especially love the gazillion outfits that Taylor had on.

I love to listen to Someday by Nina while doing homework. This song is such a classic, so soothing and beautiful. To go along with that, another love song that I’ve been obsessed with is Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware. A song that was recently released two months ago, Say You Love Me has got me lip singing every single time it comes up on my music playlist. Jessie Ware has such a powerful and beautiful voice. A great song to write essays to. 

Another great slow song to do homework to is The Leaves will Change by Take Cover. This song was in the background of a Vampire Diaries episode and the mix of piano and vocals is wonderful! I also like A Drop in the Ocean by Ron Pope, a song also featured in Vampire Diaries.

Recently introduced to Glee by my friend (I’ve known what it was before but I just hadn’t taken much interest in it), I really like Glee’s take on Singing In the Rain/Umbrella. It’s upbeat and makes me want to dance with the cast.

Next is Rather Be by Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne. This song is just so unique and catchy. I can’t explain how addicted I am to this song! Another great song is Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey. This was in The Great Gatsby movie, and while I didn’t like the movie, this song made a lasting impression.

Well that’s about it for now. I hope you guys found this useful and got some music recommendations! If you have any songs you’ve been loving, please share them with me:) I’m always up for listening to new music.
~Catherine

Thursday, October 23, 2014

♡Throwback Thursday♡ CHINA Part 4: Walking Around & Shopping!

Hi everyone! One of my favorite things about visiting Shanghai is going to the large shopping malls and visiting streets with rows of small shops and cafes lining the sides. There's just so much cute stuff to see, even if I don't end up buying anything. 
We went to a poop & bathroom themed cafe. Yes, that's right. Like the teddy bear cafe in my second Throwback Thursday post, this entire cafe was covered in bathroom decorations. There was a huge toilet (obviously fake) dangling from the ceiling. Their drinks were served in little toilet mugs.  Their desserts and ice cream was served in little toilet serving dishes. We sat on plush toilet seats. Even though the desserts weren't all that special, it was such a cute experience to be in that cafe.
And that is all for all my Throwback Thursday posts on my China trip during the holiday break 2013-2014. I will look back into past travel photos I've taken and if there are any worth sharing, I will be sure to do more Throwback Thursday posts. As for now, talk to you all in my next post.
~Catherine

Thursday, October 16, 2014

♡Throwback Thursday♡ CHINA Part 3: Shanghai World Financial Center!

Hi,
It's Thursday, woo hoo(: Throwback Thursday time! This post will be about my visit to the Shanghai World Financial Center. As an introduction, this EXTREMELY tall building (101 floors) has three observation decks. This first one is the 94th floor of the tower, the second is the 97th floor, and the third (where we spent most time) is the 100th floor. The 100th floor observation deck had a completely see through glass floor, so one can see all the cars and people below on the street. This was my second time going into this tower. Here are just some pictures that I took while I was there:
While I would not like to go again (because the height is way to high for me and I was basically holding onto hand railings the whole time), the Shanghai World Financial Center is worth visiting if you like scenery and photography.
~Catherine

Thursday, October 9, 2014

♡Throwback Thursday♡ CHINA Part 2: Food!

Hello everyone and welcome to the second post in my "Throwback Thursday" China series! If you want a short introduction to "Throwback Thursday", click here to read my first post.
This was the ninth time I've been to China and one of my ULTIMATE favorite things about visiting is the DELICIOUS food. I'm such a foodie, so constantly being surrounded by restaurants and cafes is so tempting. And of course, I gave in...many times(:
The first two pictures on the top are from a cream puff store called Beard Papa's, which are located all over the world including the United States. I, however, have never tried a professionally fresh made cream puff before, so I decided to buy one in Shanghai. I bought a classic vanilla puff, which was light and airy. I probably wouldn't ever buy this flavor again because it wasn't satisfying enough for my sweet tooth.

The center picture in the left column is a picture of takoyaki, a ball-shaped Japanese savory snack made of a flour batter with diced octopus,onion, and other seafood. The takoyaki is covered in a brown sauce (I don't know what it is), mayonnaise (which adds a tang), and seaweed powder. Because it's hard to find freshly made takoyaki in the U.S., I took advantage of this stand on the side of the street and had this delicious food two times during my trip. I love the texture, the strong flavor, and the "filling" feeling I get after I eat it. 

The third picture in the left column is chow mein (fried noodles), one of my absolute favorite Chinese food. It's especially authentically delicious in China where it originated.
And lastly, the bottle of red bean milk tea was really refreshing and really yummy.

I went to a dessert cafe w/ really specialized delicacies. Basically all the desserts included ice cream, fruit, fruit syrup/sauce, and some sort of a sweet jelly (top pictures), red bean (bottom left), and aloe seeds (bottom right).They tasted really unique and were very enjoyable to devour.

This teddy bear cafe was decked out in all things bear. The food had paw prints, the chairs were bear shaped, and there were bear decorations all over the building. It was so cute to just sit in there and look around.
That is all for this post and I will see you in the next post!
~Catherine

Thursday, October 2, 2014

♡Throwback Thursday♡ CHINA Part 1: Shanghai Skyline & Huangpu River!

Hello everyone and welcome to a new series of posts that I'm going to be doing called "Throwback Thursday"! Every week, I will be post pictures and stories from my travels. I think this series is going to be really fun because I get the chance to look through old photos and relive some of my memories.
This first post is going to be about  a recent trip that I took to Shanghai, China during my holiday break 2013-2014. I will be splitting this trip into three parts because I don't want to post too many pictures at once and overcrowd your computer screens:P Enjoy!

This is a picture of the famous Oriental Pearl TV Tower. I've never actually been inside the building, but I have walked by it many times on the street.  These scenic photos in particular were taken across the Huangpu River, which is the largest river in Shanghai. You can take a ferry boat to go across from the main (older) city of Shanghai (one side of the river) to Pudong (the side w/ higher & newer towers) or vice versa.
We have actually taken a night cruise along the Huangpu River to see and take beautiful photos, but we did not take one on the past trip to Shanghai.
Whether the day is gloomy or clear, Shanghai's skyline is something that should be experienced by everyone that decides to travel to the city. I love the feeling of being in a city, surrounded by crowds of people, and I cannot wait to go back.
~Catherine

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This or That Tag! ♥

Hi! I thought it would be fun to do the This or That Tag, so you can all learn a little bit more about me. I found the original questions for this tag on YouTube, but I took out some of questions that don't apply to me. Basically these questions have two choices and I have to choose one ( a rule that I broke a couple of times:P). So let's just get started! I have bolded all my choices.

Makeup
Lipgloss or Lipstick          
Eyeliner or Mascara
          Mascara helps me look awake even if I went to sleep at 3 the night before.
Foundation or Concealer
          If I can wear as less makeup as possible, that is what I'll choose!

Nails          
Long or Short
          Short nails are more functional. Typing, writing, and texting with long nails definitely requires skill.:P
Acrylic or Natural
          Natural! Painting my nails is part of the fun of wearing nail polish. 
Brights or Darks
          Both. Depends on the season.
Flower or No Flower
          I would rather be doing other things than spending an hour painting designs on my nails:P, but I'm all about glitter and sparkles (especially on an accent nail)!

Fashion
Jeans or Sweat pants
          It depends on where I'm going, but if I'm just at home, of course I'm going to be in sweats.:)
Dresses or Skirts
          Dresses because they're so effortless and convenient. 
Stripes or Plaid
          
Scarves or Hats
Necklaces or Bracelets
          I don't normally wear jewelry, but I like wearing necklaces much more than bracelets. Because I'm always doing something with my hands (whether it be typing, writing, or playing the piano), jewelry on my hand gets in the way. Hence, why I don't wear rings either.
Heels or Flats
          Depends on the occasion. Love me a little bit of both. 
Saks 5th or Nordstrom          

Hair
Curly or Straight
          I like to not try and wear my hair natural most days. But sometimes when I want to look more formal, I like to curl.
Long or Short
          Always loved long hair. 
Up or Down
          Most of the time I have my hair up, but if I'm looking for some change, I keep my hair down.

Random
Rain or Shine
          Currently Cali is in a drought, so when it rains, it's like a miracle. I love the rain and the refreshing scent of nature afterwards, but I also love sunny, bright weather.
Chocolate or Vanilla
          I love chocolate, but not as a flavor of ice cream, cake, doughnut, etc. 
Cake or Pie          Nothing beats a rich, red velvet cake.
East coast or West coast
          Even though I live on the West coast, I've been to the East coast numerous times and loved it there.  I love new experiences, whether it is meeting new people, learning new languages, visiting new places, tasting new food, etc

That is all for this tag!(: That took much longer than I thought, but that was fun. I hope you enjoyed learning more about me.
~Catherine

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Fictional Boyfriends Tag!

Hi everyone! I found this tag on YouTube and I thought that it was very creative, so I'm going to be doing this today.(: 
1. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars: If he isn't romantic, then who is? I want to go to Amsterdam...(:
2. Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries: Obviously I would choose Damon for this.:P I love his character on the TV show and I love Ian Somerhalder.
3. Daemon Black from the Lux series: I have yet to finish this series, but I'm already in love with him. **update 12/22/14- I'm changing this to Aiden St. Delphi from the Covenant series because he deserves this spot more than any other paranormal male character haha**
4. I'm skipping this because I seriously have no clue.
5. Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries: Stefan is a wonderful person, but I wouldn't want to date him.
6. Warner Andersen from the Shatter Me trilogy: Oh. My. Gosh. Warner. That's really all I have to say.
7. I would elope with any of these boyfriends, duhh:)
8. Percy Jackson from the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series: Percy is so adventurous and I would definitely like to travel around the world with him on his missions.
9.  Peeta from Hunger Games: This guy has super survival skills. Perfect choice.
10. Four from the Divergent trilogy: I would've put Four for #6 (your soul mate), but I couldn't find any other character as bad-ass as him, so he's in this category now. Loooveeee him.

That was extremely fun haha. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post. See you all later,
~Catherine

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Here's the synopsis:
      Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
      Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
      As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love

           Wow.This book brought out many feels. After reading Since You've Been Gone in August, I've been looking forward to reading another book written by Morgan Matson. Second Chance Summer wasn't as good, but it was still very enjoyable. I really wish it were still summer.(: I loved all the family bonding. Reading about Taylor, the main character, and Taylor's dad's conversations were so meaningful and punny at the same time. Morgan Matson made me feel like I was with them when everything happened, which was very emotional. The last 100 pages were my favorite, heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. 
            All of the characters made this novel very unique. Taylor, Warren, Gesley, Taylor's mother, Lucy, Taylor's grandfather, etc. Taylor struggled and overcame a lot of situations throughout the story, which helped her become stronger. She learned how to face her fears regarding a variety of things, although maybe not as earlier on in the book as I wanted her to. But overall she was still a great person to read about, always willing to help others as much as possible and eventually realizing that it's okay to open up and lean on someone for support.
            I felt like the romance lacked in certain areas because I think that there should have been more to the relationship. However, I still really really liked Henry and of course, Taylor and Henry together. I would definitely recommend this book to people who like contemporary coming of age novels. 

My shortened book review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/910265040

Monday, September 1, 2014

4 Tips for High Schoolers!

Hey everybody,
Since school has started/is starting/ will start for many people, I thought I'd share my thoughts on high school. I will be sharing 4 tips on how to make the most out of high school and I learned all of the following from experience! Let's get started:

1. People are extremely chill and easy going on everything. If you embarrass yourself, learn to laugh at yourself, pick yourself up, and move on! Four years of high school will be filled with embarrassing moments, but most of them will be forgotten. A presentation gone wrong or a clumsy trip over someone's shoe may seem totally embarrassing in the moment, but nobody will remember what happened the next day at school.

2. Study hard and stay organized. Learn to prioritize and manage your time, both things that I learned from experience. Everyone procrastinates, but try to limit the amount of time you procrastinate. Here is what you have to tell yourself: No matter what I'm going to have to finish this assignment by tomorrow. So I might as well finish this quickly now while I'm still fully awake, rather than wait till 10pm at night when I start to get sleepy. If you ever find yourself bored on the weekend, you could possibly try to get ahead in your classes ( a good idea especially for honors and AP classes). Weekdays are tiring, so if you can be very productive on weekends, you'll get a lot more sleep and time to do other things.

3. Be open! Make new friends and try things you've never tried before. If you've never volunteered  before, why not join a community service club and try? What can you lose?:) Don't take anything too seriously other than academics.

4. Don't be afraid to share your answers and ask questions in class, something that everyone can always improve on. It's scary to raise your hand because there's always the risk of answering a question wrong or other similar situations, but teachers and classmates will appreciate you for speaking out. Other people might be wondering the same things as you, and if you ask the teacher, you have answered their question as well. Teachers like questions because this is how they know you've been paying attention. I personally know when I'm giving a presentation and someone asks me a question, it makes me feel good that someone actually listened to what I was saying.

Those are four things that I think are important to keep in mind during high school. I definitely can improve on a lot of these things and writing this post has been good motivation for me. If you have any tips and advice of your own, please leave them in the comments or write your own blog post and link it, so I can read it!(:
~Catherine

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Boston Trip: Quincy Market

Welcome to the second post in my Boston Trip series!(:
Today, I will be talking about the Quincy Market and food (like usual :) ).
Quincy Market is one of the most famous and largest market complexes in U.S. It's a must see Boston tourist spot because of all the history behind it and of course, the shops. It's like one ginormous indoor food court, but instead of a "court", it's basically a large hallway with food vendors lining the sides. There's food to satisfy anyone: Chinese, Thai, Greek, Indian, hamburgers, seafood, ice cream, smoothies, etc. It was so hard to choose what to eat!

The market was completely packed with people and there were long lines, but fortunately, waiting only lasted approximately 5 minutes. If you continue walking along the food court, you'll eventually reach a circular seating area, which is almost always guaranteed to be packed.

My family and I ended up buying smoothies, strawberry banana and berry blast (or something like that:P). I've definitely had better smoothies, but the food in Quincy Market was really yummy!

Lobster mac and cheese! Yummm and a lobster roll (not pictured here) was delicious too! From my experience, anything lobster in Boston is extremely tasty.(:

After eating, we went outside and walked around a shopping complex that surrounded the market. We didn't stay for too long after that because we had other places to go, but that's pretty much my entire experience at the Quincy Market.
~Catherine

Friday, August 29, 2014

Boston Trip (Food): Dirty Water Dough Co.

Hi! I am here to start a new series of blog posts, where I will be sharing my experiences from my trip to Boston in the summer. There will be some sightseeing pictures, as well as, lots of food pictures!(: Today's post is about Dirty Water Dough Co., a local Boston pizzeria and sandwich shop. Everything on the menu is so unique and full of types of pizzas I've never tried  before.
(Excuse the finger slightly covering the top right corner of this pic haha)

This is ENCHILADA pizza. Yes, I did say enchilada. This pizza was topped with mozzarella cheese, chicken, onion, diced tomato, lettuce, and sour cream, and it was heavenly! It was like having Chipotle on pizza dough.(: The toppings were juicy and the crust was baked crisply, which gave the overall pizza great flavor and a nice chewiness.

Two of my favorite things in the world on this pizza: pasta and cheese. MAC AND CHEESE pizza! This picture definitely does not do it justice. This pizza was so delicious. I've seen mac and cheese pizza on Pinterest before, but it basically looked like someone plopped a bunch of pasta on dough. This pizza dough had a crisp bite to it, but the mac and cheese made it chewy. Not too moist and soggy: the perfect texture.(:

I am currently craving pizza...:P I hope you enjoyed reading this! More drool-worthy food pics and fun sightseeing pics to come!
~Catherine

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Books on my To-Read List!

Hello everyone,
I am here today with my top 8 books that I want to read soon. When I do read these, I will for sure post reviews on here and Goodreads.(:
1. Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller
This is a sci-fi romance novel, which is basically me in a book. I love futuristic books with new technology!

2. Maybe Someday, by Colleen Hoover
I've heard so so soooo many great things about Colleen Hoover's books and I'm definitely in a contemporary romance mood. I hope this will become one of my new favorite romance novels. It's a 

3. Half-Blood, by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I've only read two books by Jennifer L. Armentrout, which were pretty good, and I've seen even better ratings for this series, so I'm definitely going to read this soon. This is a paranormal, fantasy romance.

4. Breathe, Annie, Breathe, by Miranda Kenneally
I haven't heard too many people talking about this, but I read the plot synopsis on Goodreads and this realistic young adult romance seems very interesting.

5. Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, by Maya Van Wagenen
Memoirs are a genre that I don't usually read because I find that I cannot relate to the authors, but this book seems extremely relatable and realistic.

6. To All the Boys I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han
This is a highly rated contemporary romance book (noticed a trend in these books? I kind of love a good romance:) ) and I'm excited to be taken on a rollercoaster of emotions.

7. Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins
New release alert!!! I'm so INSANELY excited to finish this third book of the Anna and the French Kiss series. Stephanie Perkins is an amazing writer and I'm really looking forward to this.

8. Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer
Cinder, the first book of The Lunar Chronicles, was interesting, but not super good. However, I heard that this book is WAY better than the first!

Those are all the books that I'm going to be reading soon. If you want more information on them, click the titles and it will take you to the Goodreads pages. What books are next on your to-read list? Please share them with me!(: I love getting  book recommendations.
~Catherine 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Movie Review- If I Stay

Hey! A couple months ago, I stumbled upon the If I Stay trailer and I was immediately captivated. After watching it (and tearing up) over and over again, I decided to read the books from the library and they were emotional and beautifully written. I was able to watch the If I Stay movie today, one day after its release, and here are my thoughts!(:
*NOTE: SPOILERS AHEAD!*
Basic premise of the story:
Mia, the main character played by Chloe Grace Moretz, is a devoted cello player, who has large hopes and dreams to pursue a music career. Her love interest, Adam, played by Jamie Blackley, is also a musician, except he plays in his own rock band. One snowy day, Mia and her family are driving in a car, when they get into a severe car accident. Mia ends up in a coma and has an out-of-body experience.

I will start off with what I enjoyed about the movie. The cast is great; I definitely can't imagine anyone else as Mia and Adam. Mia is a very shy, introverted girl and Chloe portrayed her very well. Jamie is an awesome actor (can we please just take a moment to admire his smile?), and when I watching, I completely forgot that he has a British accent in real life. The ending monologue with him talking to Mia was one of my favorite scenes in the movie. It was one of the most emotional parts for me in the book and I'm so glad it was adapted well. There were numerous kissing scenes, and I'm a sucker for cute romances, so that was fantabulous. Music plays a big role in If I Stay and I loooovveeeed the soundtrack of the movie! (Click here if you want to listen to it)

Now onto some of things that I wished the movie could've done better on.
I strongly believe that you should read the book duology before watching the movie because those who haven't read the books will be confused, especially during the flashbacks. Speaking of flashbacks, the transitions between the past and future were choppy and confusing. And to add on, Kim, Mia's best friend, didn't seem needed in the movie, while book Kim was an important character.

I felt like the director/producers/movie people tried to create more of a romantic conflict and drama,while in the book, the major "conflict" was Mia deciding whether or not to keep living without her parents or just dying. I enjoyed the ending with Adam, but Mia's dialogue made it seem like it was Adam's choice, not hers, to wake up from the coma.The book is focused on the strength of love through friendships, relationships, and music, all of which should've been emphasized more in the movie. That would've made it more emotional. (I teared up when reading the book, but not as much when watching the movie)

If I Stay was not a super-wonderful-I'm-going-to-watch-this-again-and-again movie, but it was still pretty great! I was disappointed because I had very high expectations going into this, but overall, I'm very happy that I spent the time and money to watch it.

RATING: 80%; 4 out of 5 stars

And because I love pictures, here's a collage of the cast of If I Stay on set!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Social Media Book Tag!

Hello! I saw this tag on YouTube and thought I'd do it on here just for fun.(:
1. As all you know, because I've probably mentioned this a billion times, I'm so excited for the If I Stay movie. The novel is really unique and a great read.
2. I feel like Cinder was very over-hyped. The plot was interesting, but I couldn't relate to any of the characters. However, I will eventually read the rest of the series because I heard that they get better and better.
3. I read The Hunger Games in 7th grade in 2009 and I really enjoyed it!
4. I think that when I was reading Alienated I was really frustrated with the first half of the book, but the second half was good. Now, I see people raving about this and I don't think it was THAT good.:P
5. This book is soooooo beautiful!
6. If Throne of Glass is turned into a movie, it would be so bad-ass and action packed!
7. My friends know how obsessed I am with this book :D

That's it for this tag! See you in my next post.
~Catherine

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back-to-School: Organizational School Supplies!

Hi!
Back to school supplies shopping is probably one of my favorite things about a new school year, other than taking new classes. Now that I'm a senior, it seems like teachers are more relaxed about what students use to take notes in and keep handouts in, which is great. As long as students stay organized and on top of assignments, teachers really don't care what you use.
The first thing I would say that is a necessity for most classes is a binder. For the past years, I've always used white plain binders, but I thought I'd jazz it up this year and use a pink binder. While I dislike how bulky and heavy binders can be towards the end of a semester, I will be using one to hold all the handouts and graded assignments that teachers pass back.

I use folders to hold my homework and handouts that I need to use often in class, so I have easy access to them. This year I'm using green and red Mead Five Star paper folders. Folders are sturdy, thin, and great for organization.

Notebooks and binder paper are by far the heaviest things in my backpack. I use notebooks for almost all my classes to take notes and do homework. For AP Lit, AP Stats, AP Comp Sci, I'm using one subject notebooks. For AP Psychology, the class requires so much homework note taking and class notes, so I'm using a three subject notebook. And for AP Gov, class notes are just going to  be on binder paper and homework is typed, so I'm not using a notebook.

I love using post it notes and sticky tabs to write comments and mark pages in notebooks, books, and textbooks. If your teacher requires notebook checks, you can use sticky tabs to mark the different sections: class notes, homework notes, etc. In English, post it notes are helpful to keep track of quotes and scenes in a book. In general, you can use sticky tabs to mark pages in textbooks to keep track of what pages should be read.

I believe most schools provide planners, but you can also buy one at various stores. A planner is essential to write homework, appointments, and extracurriculars. If you're really busy like I am, this is a great way to manage your time and not forget anything important that needs to be done.

Colored pens! Loooovee them.(: Yes, I would consider this an organization school supply. When taking notes, color helps you see things more clearly, which helps in the memorization process for a quiz or test. Plus, color is just so fun.

Those are basically all the necessary school supplies that I think everyone should have. If you have any more school necessities, please let me know!
~Catherine

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Favorite Outfits from the Teen Choice Awards 2014!

Hellooooo!
Me being a fan of so many movies and celebrities, of course I had to watch the Teen Choice Awards 2014, which took place last night. Since the beginning, I have been voting for my favorite celebs, and I'm glad to say that most of them won. Go Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Catching Fire, and The Vampire Diaries!(:

In no particular order, I'm going to show you guys my favorite outfits!

It only seems right to start off with the host, Sarah Hyland, and her gorgeous outfits. I love all of them, I can't even choose a favorite one. They're all so pretty and classy. The watercolor flower top with the white skirt is right up my alley.

Next are Shailene Woodley and Nina Dobrev. Shai is rocking a multi-print dress with red pumps. Nina is wear a multi-colored crop top and shorts ensemble with bright pink pumps. Styled both by the same stylist, Illaria Urbinati, these two women look fierce and beautiful in their own ways.

Star of the upcoming movie, If I Stay, Chloe Grace Moretz looked adorable while walking the blue carpet and presenting. Mixed prints is a big trend this year and Chloe looks so cute in her outfit.

Taylor Swift looked fabulous in a green crop top and midi skirt.

And lastly, the one and only Hailee Steinfeld. Looking edgy and girly at the same time, again the mixed prints, Hailee is so cute in such a unique dress. She definitely pulls it off!

Overall, everyone looked great at the awards, but those ones were just my favorite! There wasn't a single outfit I didn't like (which is kind of weird haha)! Talk to you all in my next post!
~Catherine