Friday, May 15, 2015


Alright you guys, I’ve got some AWESOME favorites (and there are a lot of them, too xD) lined up for this past month, so without further ado, let us begin~!


The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

Oh man, where do I even begin.  There is so much that I would like to say, but I feel like most of that is spoilers, lol.  Hmm…I think I will just give some fairly general comments here, because I’m feeling lazy anyway. x’D
          Pros: 75% of the comedy is spot-on and absolutely hilarious.  The plays on Thor’s hammer, LOL. >D> Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are awesome; character development, costume, and the interpretations of their superhuman abilities were cool.  One of my favorite scenes in the movie was the sequence when Scarlet Witch’s magic is manipulating the Avengers’ subconscious minds.  The fight scene between Iron Man (in the Hulkbuster suit, of course) and the Hulk, as well as the “final battle” are fantastic.  Ultron is a really unique antagonist and it was refreshing to experience his odd sense of humor and eerie perspective of existence.  EVERYTHING about Hawkeye is A++++.  Omg.  Finally, the Vision.  THE FREAKING PAUL-BETANNY-IS-GOING-TO-EPIC-YOU-INTO-OBLIVION VISION.
          Cons: The other 25% of that comedy were either cheap shots or raunchy comments that really weren’t necessary.  This movie is definitely more mature than the first installment in the series.  Loki didn’t even have a tiny cameo—that was really disappointing for me.  Although, I imagine that they’re saving his face for the next Thor film… And seriously, guys?  No after-credits bonus scene?  Way to break tradition!
          Anyway, yeah, a great movie.  Not perfect, but as most Marvel movies have been for my personal tastes lately, pretty damn close (sorry, Captain).

TV Series

Love Rain

I’m not going to spend too much time discussing this kdrama because I tend to fangirl a lot over this sort of thing, and I’m already worn out after semi-spazzing about The Avengers. x’) Basically, this drama is about a stylish guy (Jang Geunsuk, one of the only guys who can actually pull off hairstyles such as a messy ponytail and a “manbun”) and a sweet girl (Im YoonA, who has the cutest facial expressions ever) who together embark on one of the most perilous journeys that exist in this extraordinarily ordinary life: dating.  Their ups-and-downs are heartwarming, and unlike many kdramas, this series has great closure.  Also: the fountain kiss scene is one of the best in kdrama, in my very unhumble humble opinion.


The Book of Lost Tales 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien

This is another case of a lucky thrift-store find; I picked up this treasure for 99 cents at my local St. Vincent’s.  I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I love the magic and lore so far.  I mean, come on, it’s Tolkien.  What’s not to love.


EXO The 2nd Album EXODUS

Because this group’s stellar first album, I have to admit that initially I was quite disappointed with their follow-up.  While I like all of the songs on XOXO, I was only drawn to half (5/10) of EXODUS’s tunes: ‘Call Me Baby,’ ‘EXODUS,’ ‘El Dorado,’ ‘What If..’, and ‘Beautiful’ after the first few listens.  The other five songs, however, grew on me with time!  Particularly ‘Hurt,’ which has interesting sound and lyrics.  My favorite aspect of this album is the line distribution.  It made me so happy to hear my Yixing’s lovely voice so frequently, and to hear the usually non-existent vocals of Chanyeol.  Please SM, let all my babies sing.  This album is a lot like Overdose, at least composition-wise, with the addition of three ballads.  Overall, it’s a great buy.  I’m looking forward to a repackage album.


Super Mario 3D Land

Everything that I love about Wii U’s Super Mario 3D World, condensed into a cute, portable form on my 3DS.  These games never fail as a quick go-to gaming pick-me-up for those bleh moments in life.


CoverGirl Professional loose mineral powder

This product has actually been part of my daily routine for a few years now, but I never really gave it much thought until I recently tried a different drugstore loose mineral powder—one that I didn’t care for at all!  Of course, I went right back to the CoverGirl one, which I can say in all honestly that I think is a great dupe for Bare Minerals powders, which I used during my first few years of wearing makeup.  I’ve never had any issues with it.


Neutrogena 3-in-1 acne facial scrub

Long story short: I was on the market for a facial scrub and a treatment for mild acne, so when I came across this product at the drugstore, it seemed like a no-brainer.  It was very affordable so I decided to give it a try without much research, and I am quite pleased.  It doesn’t irritate my dry, sensitive skin (you do have to use a moisturizer afterwards, though, as you would with any other salicylic acid treatment), smells nice, and really does help with what it claims: to clear up “acne’s past, present, and future.”  Next time, I think I will go for something a bit more organic/natural, but I would recommend this product to anyone who’s looking for a different type of treatment for milder cases of acne.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I’d like to start off by saying that I hope that you all had as beautiful of an Easter as I did! 

Before my Easter break ends and I go back to work tomorrow, I figured that I should stop procrastinating and get up my Monthly Favorites post for last month before April is over! XD Since most of March was in Lent, I don’t have as many entertainment entries this time around, but there were indeed a few things worth mentioning.

Let’s get started ~

Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross

Before Ash Wednesday I had spent a considerable amount of time deciding on my Lenten reading material this year, and most of my choices were books that I had already read before but felt that they merited a second time through.  St. John of the Cross is one of my favorite spiritual authors, probably because of his simple yet elegant style and of course, his poetics. 
          Dark Night of the Soul is essentially Christian mysticism in poetic form, and is composed of two parts: “The Dark Night,” and “The Ascent of Mount Carmel.”  I had read these works, along with his The Living Flame of Love for Lent two years ago, and enjoyed it immensely.  I feel that after reading through them again they have been even more beneficial than before.
          If you’re looking for an entirely different kind of spiritual reading, I strongly recommend it!

The Last Unicorn

“I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight.  But I cannot come in unless you dream of me.” –Peter S. Beagle

Beautiful book, lovely film.  A precious pearl from my childhood days, recently revisited!


International Delight York coffee creamer

Just imagine creamy, refreshing peppermint chocolate swirled into your morning cup of coffee, and you’ll understand why this dairy coffee creamer secured its spot on my list this month.

CoverGirl Aqua CG Smoothers moisturizing liquid foundation

Now that my facial psoriasis has cleared up and my skin is healing, I have been able to use a medium-coverage foundation as opposed to the full-coverage one (Revlon ColorStay) that I had been using before as the main element of my daily makeup routine.  For the past few weeks I’ve been using this one by Cover Girl and it’s quite nice!  It goes on smoothly, blends well, has no unpleasant scent or side effects, and really does help to keep my face soft and moisturized.  It’s a bit thicker than a BB cream, and is buildable if more coverage is needed.

Thayer’s Cucumber Witch Hazel w/Aloe Vera

Soon after I had successfully gotten rid of the psoriasis patches on my face and neck, my skin became a bit oily and I started seeing tiny pimples pop up here and there, particularly on my forehead and along my jawline.  To help combat this and keep my skin clean, fresh, and toned, I picked up this all-natural witch hazel toner at my local Walgreens after hearing many positive comments on the Rose version of the same product.  I chose the Cucumber version because of the cooling, calming effects that I’ve known cucumber products to provide.  Astringents are too harsh for my sensitive skin, and my acne isn’t severe enough to use topical products such as Clean & Clear’s Persa-Gel 10.  For me, applying a toner twice or day (three times if I’m not wearing makeup that day) does the job just fine.

          I will note that this toner is very mild, however, and must be used in cooperation with a good cleanser and moisturizer.  It’s all about finding the specific skincare routine that works for you and your skin.  If I didn’t use certain other products along with this toner, I feel that it wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective.  The next product under this category that I plan on giving a try is Etude House’s Wonder Pore Freshner.

Friday, March 6, 2015


January is such a refreshing month.  It is a time still touched by the pure joy and celebration of Christmas, while simultaneously full of promise and hope for the year to come.  I feel that I’ve had an extraordinarily good start, which I hope will set the tone for the rest of 2015.

And because February is always the busiest month (three birthdays, my parents’ anniversary, Valentine’s Day, school fundraising, and sometimes [like this year ;o;] the beginning of Lent!) of the year for me besides December, I decided to combine my monthly favorites posts together this time around.

That being said, here are my favorites for January/February 2015~!  It’s a longer post, but there are some particularly lovely mentions here so I hope that it proves to be worth your time.

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
“Daughter of Aero” by Katharine Bond

I was required to read the first book, as it is one of my textbooks this term.  The latter, well… I was also required to read because it is practically my godchild, the work of my dearest friend and writing partner, Katharine Bond.  Both are absolutely incredible works and merit their shared place on my list for this month.
          As a writer, I appreciate any book or article that helps make my job an easier and more fulfilling experience.  Let me tell you:  I have never read a book that has inspired or influenced me more than this one by acclaimed screenwriter Christopher Vogler.  It’s…inexplicable.  I truly believe that The Writer’s Journey is an indispensable guide for writers, regardless of profession or genre. 
          If you’ve never heard of it, click here to read all about it.  If you’ve been putting it off, I’m begging you to find it and read it.  You will not regret it!  There’s something here to be learned and/or gleaned by everyone.

Secondly: “Daughter of Aero” by Katharine Bond, which is the second installment of her The Last Abecedarian series.  I haven’t even finished reading it yet, but I know that I love it.  On account of the fact that it is inherent to my nature to be biased in regards to Katie’s books, I will refrain from discussing it in detail here.  Instead, I would like to present to you shameless best friend promotion I would like to spread the word! 

Purchase the book! -> Daughter of Aero on Amazon
Follow Katie on Facebook! -> Katharine Bond
Follow Katie on Twitter! -> @BondKatharine
Visit Katie's author page on Goodreads! -> Katharine Bond (Goodreads Author)
Visit Katie’s blog! -> Katharine’s Korner

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

This movie is the very epitome of cheesy old martial arts films (which I absolutely love to watch, haha). It features totally not fake AWESOME wire work, cool weapons, fists and feet and antagonists flying everywhere.  …Hey, those “special effects” were revolutionary at the time!  The setting and music, aspects that seem to be fairly consistent in the realm of Asian entertainment, are spot-on as well.
          For me, nothing beats a chilly late night with peppermint hot chocolate and a good, action-packed movie.

TV Series
Coffee Prince

Before Lent began in mid-February, I binged-watched several kdrama series despite having midterms including It’s Okay, That’s Love, Bride of the Century, To the Beautiful You (second time through oops), and this month’s favorite: Coffee Prince.  All of these series were pretty good; I enjoyed all of them and they’re great in their own unique ways but Coffee Prince just blows the others out of the water and far, far off into the distance.
          Not gonna lie, I could write a non-scholarly (on account of the constant fangirling and use of internet lingo) dissertation on why I love this series.  Romance? Check.  Drama? Check.  Comedy?  Check.  Delicious food and coffee?  Check and check.  This series is perfect in every way at least for my tastes, anyway and I just love it. >u< I cried.  Lots.  And I laughed even more.  Coffee Prince’s adorableness and hilariousness are very unpredictable, which I feel contributes to the overall entertainment value for someone like me (a writer who is real tired of predictable plots and dynamics on TV).  It got me over and over again.
          There is no way that I can properly summarize this drama's plot without confusing or scaring you, so I'll just say that if you’re into this sort of thing, watch it.  You won’t be disappointed!

To the Moon (CPU)

Okay, now this is a favorite that I experienced a few years ago when it released, but its beauty and magnificence had somehow managed to drift into the deepest recesses of my memory.
          Last week I found amongst the 3000-something songs that I have on my personal computer “Everything’s Alright,” which is theme song for the game and also a favorite for this past month.  Hearing this beautiful song for the first time in foreverrrr brought the game back to my mind and I decided to play through it again.
          Dear God.  I didn’t remember crying so much back then.  I’ve definitely changed.  LOL
          The developer’s site describes the game as “A story-driven experience about two doctors traversing backwards through a dying man's memories, in order to artificially fulfill his last wish.”  It is absolutely incredible to me how much raw emotion and plausibility the developers were able to instill to a pixelated game.  It’s a truly impressive, fulfilling video game.  I’m a firm believer in these sorts of games—the ones that make people think and wonder, instead of just hack and slash.
          To the Moon also won numerous indie game awards for the year of 2011, and rightfully so.  If you’re a gamer who’s looking for a new experience, give this a try!  It’s short and sweet and will leave you in awe.  You can purchase it on Steam for $9.99.  It's well worth the money.

“Everything’s Alright” by Laura Shigihara (To the Moon OST)

As previously mentioned, “Everything’s Alright” is the theme song for the game To the Moon.  It’s…a beautiful song.  Definitely one of the top 10 songs that give me emoceans!  There is also a fantastic cover of the song by YouTuber Emily Scholz that gives it a slightly different flair.  They’re both wonderful, and I will embed them here for your listening pleasure.


Cover by Emily Scholz (EmSArcade)

Nature Republic Cleansing Soap
LAY ver. (acacia scent)

Long story short: a friend of mine gifted this bar soap to me because in South Korea, k-pop group EXO is currently endorsing skincare giant Nature Republic and each member’s face was stamped on the sleeve for each different scent of the soap.  My favorite member of the group being Lay, my friend got me his version which is the acacia scent. 
          Apparently, acacia is a thorny shrub or tree that smells like heaven that has been known throughout the ages for its distinctive scent and heavy symbolism.  Different peoples have associated it with purity and endurance of the soul, resurrection, and immortality.  Egyptian mythology associates the acacia tree with the tree of life.  Today, it is still used to make incense, perfumes, and amazing soap bars with k-pop idols on them.
          The soap itself is lovely but mild.  For me it removes impurities without any side effects, positive or negative.  Because of the strong scent, cleansing tends to become more therapeutic, so I don’t use it all the time.  Just when I need something a little extra before my skincare routine.

…And that’s it for this post!  Whew, that was a bit lengthy.  If you’re still reading this, I thankyu!  Thankyu for putting up with my fangirly ramblings. >u<

‘Til the next post~!