Friday, 2 October 2015

Review: The Vintage Coloring Book

The Vintage Coloring Book: Gorgeous Vintage Designs to Make Your Own

Title: The Vintage Coloring Book
Publisher: Raincoast Canada
Publication date: September 1, 2015 
Genre(s): Coloring book
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Kick-start your creativity with this coloring book for adults! Pencils, crayons, markers, or paint—whatever medium you choose, you can illuminate a beautiful piece of art with the use of color palettes and your inner interior designer. Gorgeous vintage patterns with swirls and angles make each page an interesting adventure. Use these designs as inspiration for stenciling, crafts, or even tattoos! Coloring can be relaxing and meditative, so get out your art supplies and enjoy! 

I have to admit and say I totally fell for this colouring book hype that emerged lately. I'm not artistically gifted so I always loved colouring so I jumped at the chance to review this colouring book, especially since it says vintage and I love the designs and patterns on anything vintage. I skimmed through the book and I must say I liked alot of the patterns on the pages, some were much more appealing to me than others and there's a pretty big number of these designs.. this is a book that will take you around four months to complete if you do one page a day (one design is found in every two pages). So I really wanted to get to it and I began my journey of hand cramping but satisfying beautiful coloured photos. 
I initially started with the design on the bottom left photo... unfortunately this particular photo had no concept of solid lines.. everything merged together and there was no distinction between when one thing ended and another started... so I gave up on it and started doing the design on the bottom right corner. I have to admit that I really liked how that turned out. All the mixing of colours was just so pretty.. I was afraid that I was just messing it up but you know what? that's the whole point.. colour with whatever colours you feel, there is no right or wrong. I quite like how colourful it is and I now truly believe in art therapy. 
I would recommend colouring books for people who have coloured and had an interest in it, I would also recommend this specific book but I must say a lot of the designs do not interest me at all and some of them were quite boring, however every couple of pages you get a beautiful design like the one I coloured completely and I'm happy I have this book for whenever I feel like colouring and taking a break from what I usually do. 

Monday, 28 September 2015

Review: Most Likely to Succeed by Jennifer Echols

Most Likely to Succeed
Title: Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives, #3)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Publication date: August 4, 2015 
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend, Aidan, already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future.

To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. But while he and Kaye appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves…

As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it’s finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a relationship between them most likely to succeed—or will it be their favorite mistake?
The third and last book in the superlatives follows the third friend, Kaye, and Sawyer. Kaye is the overachiever, student council rise president, level headed, and the most goal oriented of the three friends. She's already dating Aidan and everyone thinks of them as the perfect couple. Yes, I know I know.. you guessed it right, now enter the bad boy, Sawyer in this case. However I highly enjoyed this novel because I really liked Sawyer in the previous two books as as secondary character. I also never really get sick of the good girl bad boy plot line. As long as it's written well, who am I to complain about it? Jennifer Echols nailed it right and I loved the conflict she created within this book and just how real and faulty and frustratingly teenager-y this characters are. 
I really liked Kaye. The thing I liked the most about her is that she didn't feel obligated to meet everyone's expectations. The moment she felt that this or that isn't right for her, that was the end of it. Her mother is very controlling and I was happy that she was able to respectfully stick up to herself from time to time. Sometimes parents don't understand exactly how different the world runs from when they were back in high school.. and I'm sure we won't understand that when we have kids too. Sawyer though, he was just so adorable and cute. I generally don't like the bad boy/class clown characters but Sawyer's was endearing. I loved how vulnerable Echols made him to be.. and not the typical "oh he's a bad boy because he has issues and that's why he's lashing out". Sawyer isn't really a bad boy per say, but he does have a reputation that preceded him when he transferred to this current school. I just loved how different his character was from usual love interests. 
Most Likely to Succeed is my second favourite book after Biggest Flirts. I was in the biggest reading slump due to my school stress but once I started it, I ended up finishing it in two days. I definitely recommend The Superlatives trilogy, and you can also read them out of order, however I recommend you read them in order and purchase all three at the same time, or atleast after you read and liked the first one, because you're going to want to binge read them all. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me?

Title: Why Not Me?
Author: Mindy Kaling
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: September 15, 2015 
Genre(s): Non-fiction (Essays, Humor)
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.
I loved Mindy Kaling's first book Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns). I also love Mindy Kaling's show The Mindy Project. I basically love anything Mindy Kaling does, with good reason, including her new book Why Not Me?. Honestly if Mindy Kaling is explaining to me how the REM cycle works, she'll find a way to turn it into the most fascinating, funny, and exciting thing ever. I love her humour and it translates really well in writing. I found myself laughing out loud countless times in the 240 pages of Why Not Me?
I was curious to see what direction she'll be taking with this book that hasn't been done in her previous one. I mean it's somewhat a biography.. what is more to tell than what has been told and what we already know about Mindy? apparently a lot. Her book is more anecdotes about past experiences or fictional stories she made up. You seriously feel like she is directly speaking to you. Her choice of photos and captions are stellar. 
Why Not Me? isn't just funny, we get to read about the whole issue with Fox's cancellation of The Mindy Project and Hulu picking it up. I was so happy that was included. I also am especially fond of the last chapter in her book which she addresses a question a girl asked at one of her fan meetings but she regretted not being able to give her a proper answer. Lastly, I love that she talked about body images and how she found herself thrust into being the representative of 'real women with curves'. All her chapters were so interesting and amusing, I never grew bored of reading her book. I wish she writes more and not just this type of book, but an actual fictional story. She included a snippet of what her life would be like if she didn't pursue the path she's on, and man, by the end of that story, I wanted more. Mindy can be a fantastic chick lit writer! 
To sum it up, I was not disappointed one bit, even though I've been waiting for this book for over a year. I love Mindy Kaling and her humour will always bring a smile and laugh to me. I am hoping she'll continue writing books, be it fiction or non fiction. I definitely recommend people to pick this up, you honestly won't be disappointed. 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Review: The Royal Wedding by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Royal We
Title: The Royal We
Author: Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Publisher: HBG Canada
Publication date: April 7, 2015 
Genre(s): Fiction (Chick lit)
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 454
American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.
The Royal We is basically a fan fiction of Kate and William. If you love the royal family, you're going to love this book. I personally don't know much about them but I have a friend who is pretty obsessed, so we both decided to read this book together. I really liked the writing of the authors, I don't really know how they divided up the writing but it all flowed pretty well. I personally always look for how a book is introduced, that introductory chapter has become very important to me and either makes or breaks a book for me. The first chapter of The Royal We was set after the whole story happened, and our main character, Bex, is struggling with a decision she needs to make, and then bam, the chapter ends. I wanted to dive right into the book and try to figure out how Bex got in her future situation. 
I really enjoyed the interactions between Bex and the future king, Nick. It was laid back and you get to see that Nick is actually human and has the same struggles that we do even though he is a royal. I loved that initially Bex ad Nick started out as friends and stayed as friends for a while. It gave me flashbacks of Anna and the French Kiss, which is one of my favourite 'friendship turned into relationship' stories. 
The book is very long, I think that is the only downside to it. I did like how leisurely the pace was, but I felt that there was unnecessary fillers in between. However if you don't mind spending extra time reading a book, then I say go for it. One thing I'm happy to note is that I wasn't frustrated with either Bex or Nick.. maybe Nick at one point, but never with Bex. She is a very level headed girl with a great family. I loved her family, even though her twin sister seriously annoyed me so much at times. I think The Royal We gives you the backstory on royal families and what marrying into the royal family can be like. I personally cared more about the core relationship, which is Bex and Nick, as well as the struggle of dealing with prejudice, whether be it their differing nationalities (she's american), or her social class. I definitely recommend it to avid fans of the royal family and anyone who likes a good chick lit.  

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Juice: Recipes for juicing, cleansing & living well

Do you guys remember a while back when Juhina and I made this video about the book Juice? We bookmarked a couple of other recipes that we wanted to try out but never got around to doing it. So, almost a year later, here we are! 
This time around I decided to try out a green juice recipe, one that included common ingredients and wasn't too difficult to make. I went with the basic GREENS 1 recipe which included the following ingredients: 
+ Spinach 
+ Kale
+ Lettuce
+ Cucumber
+ Parsley
+ Lemon Juice
Since I don't own a juicer, I added everything into the blender and added a bit of water to be able to blend well.
And voila! Green juice! I was actually pleasantly surprise with how brightly green the juice was and how easy it was to make.
Taste wise, it tasted like green juice, which is not to say it tasted bad, but if you've never tried it, it's definitely a surprise. I did notice that the juice was separating after a while and I'm not sure if using a juicer would make any difference.  
My favourite thing about this book is that most of the recipes are quite similar to each other yet each has a different twist to it. If you love juicing but need to change up your recipe a bit this is definitely the book to go to. I really do like how there are different sections for greens, roots and citrus so it really gives you a variety into what juicing consists of. It also has little bits of information about each juicing and how to overall cleanse your body and become a little bit healthier!
As for my next juice, I'm really eyeing the ones with watermelon... perfect for summer time!