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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Book Talk: The Things They Carried & The Murder Complex

Hello everyone! I've recently read two books and I just want to share my quick thoughts on both of them in this Book Talk, so these reviews will be short compared to my specific Book Review posts. Anyways, let's start off the first book,
           I had to read this book for my AP Literature class (summer reading assignment), and surprisingly, it wasn't bad! There were some parts, like the beginning, that were boring, but the story really picked up after that. I loved reading about Tim's war experiences, which were so interesting. It was a unique perspective on the Vietnam War. I loved learning about all the different characters and analyzing the symbolism.
       
Next, 
        I felt that this book was overhyped. It was just okay. Despite how big of a book it may look, it was a very quick read, so I don't regret reading it since it didn't take too much time. The Murder Complex was full of action, blood, and guts, which was cool, but the relationships lacked substance. The character developments should have been better. There was so much insta-love and I felt like the characters didn't even know each other well enough before starting to date. I couldn't connect to any of the characters. When I first started reading, there were so many strange terms, which really confused me. I got used to them afterwards, but I wish the author did a better job at explaining the world in the beginning of the novel. The plot twists felt forced and sometimes illogical. The ending was full of action, but there wasn't much emotion. The ending tried to be a cliffhanger, but failed because I don't feel a strong urge to read the next book in this series.

Those are my quick thoughts about these two books that I've read. Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Upcoming Movies that I'm looking forward to!

Hi!
2014 has been filled with amazing movies (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Edge of Tomorrow, and Guardians of the Galaxy, just to name a few), but there are many movies still to come! I'm especially excited for the following:
I cannot wait to see these movies in theaters! 
~Catherine

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

ACTUAL RATING: 4.75 stars
Here's the synopsis:
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just...disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um...
Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she'll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

           This book was so wonderfully realistic, which is something that I think all books should have regardless of the genre. Even if a book is science fiction and fantasy, it doesn't matter if the characters have super powers or strange abilities, their personalities should be believable. I think the main thing I loved this book so much was the characters and their developments. While I couldn't directly relate to Emily, it was so fun watching her grow and change as a person.
          To be honest, the first 130 pages or so weren't the best, but I think they were essential in part of Emily's discovering-herself journey. It was especially wonderful to read from her point of view because she was so shy, quiet, and afraid to try new things in the beginning, but she really grows and changes as a person. After the slightly draggy start of the novel, the rest was such an exhilarating ride. I couldn't stop myself from reading!(: It was so beautifully written and captivating. The romance was nicely paced and super adorable. There was no insta-love, which was great. The adventures that Emily went on were so exciting and fun. Throughout the book, I felt like I was one of Emily's friends and going on adventures with her. The ending made me so happy and I couldn't stop smiling. The book was just so amazing.
           I loved reading this book so so much. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary and romance novels, especially to those who have read and liked Anna and the French Kiss. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Morgan Matson.

My shortened book review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/910264509