Monday, December 30, 2013

Accomplishments 2013 and Resolutions 2014

I snatched this idea of a post up from Eileen from Singing and Reading in the Rain. Hope you don't mind! xD

2014 is literary next door and I thought I'd list down my Accomplishments for 2013 as well as my 2014 Resolutions. Here goes:

2013 Accomplishments

- Successfully lost a whole lot of weight - I've lost more than 10kg this year - Yay!
- Graduated from University - Finally!
- Blogged about something else besides books.
- Gained new followers - Hello all!! *waves*
- Officially celebrated my Blogoversary (after three years of forgetting)
- Hosted my own giveaway - Yay!
- Finished 48 books.

The majority of people who list down their resolutions don't attain even half of the list, and completely forget about it as the year passes. Guilty here! I lost my 2013 Resolutions. I blame it on the house renovation that happened earlier in the year.
Anyways, here are my resolutions for 2014:

2014 Resolutions

- Build my virtual community
- Have a penpal
- Write something that gets noticed
- Cook more
- Stay fit and healthy
- Expand my wardrobe
- Inspire someone

- Find a source of secure income
- Save double the amount I have in the bank.

I honestly have no particular road that I want to take for this coming year, as of yet. I can't seem to see where I'm going, but wherever this year plans on taking me, I hope that it's going to be a good place, with warm blankets and a fire, and maybe some milk and cookies.

The number 4 has always been one of my lucky numbers; being born on the 4th of April 1994, and April being the 4th month of the year, I've always considered this particular number to be a lucky one. Since 2014 obviously has a "4" in it, I am hoping that this coming year will be one of my best. *fingers crossed* But honestly, no one can purposefully predict our future, and all we are left to do is hope. Hope for the best of things to come, and also to enjoy the things we have while waiting for this "hope" to fill the rest of our lives.

And that's that. I encourage you all scribbled down your own 2014 Resolutions before the year ends, or maybe after, if you haven't already. Just to help you move forward to a fresh new year.

Have a great New Year everyone! 

credits for fireworks textures 

Friday, December 27, 2013

[Books] Self-help Books: Do they really help?

self help, books, self development, helping, development, questions, improvement, life improvements, improvement

Self help books are supposed to be there to help you without spending more than $500 for a psychiatrist per session. They are cheap indirect professional help. They are text books basically.

And it's the life related self-help kind of books that I want to focus on because they have a huge impact on, well, our lives. They're supposed to make our lives a much better one.

During my lifetime I've read my fair share of self-help books, especially during my high school and the beginning of my university years. I felt like I needed a little push to keep me positive and to keep me moving towards the right direction. I've read positivity books, weight loss books, spiritual books, and relationship books, and though I don't agree with what some of them say, I do give them all a chance to make my life better to live through.

But the big question is, "Did they help?" did they provide the "self-help" assistance that we needed?

I just have to honestly say that the self-help books that I've read definitely improved my life, well, a couple of them have.

So my answer to the question "Do they really help?" Yes, some books do help, but it's all up to the reader to take the given help and advice and use it to their advantage.

My readers, my friends, I direct the question to you. Have you every read a self-help book that had a great impact in your life? Have they changed how you see the world in anyway? Did they help you? 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

[Beauty] MAC Xmas Neutral Palette

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas this year as well as get awesome presents from Santa! xD

I am extremely grateful for all the presents I got this Christmas (even if I don't really celebrate it) and I thought I'd share one of them with you all.

Some may know that I've been wanting a MAC x4 Eye Shadow Palette for quite a while now and I would always say to myself "One day I'll save enough cash to get one myself". I wanted a neutral palette that I could use everyday so I won't feel bad about spending so much on it and not using enough of it. And it being the Christmas wintery season, I wanted a neutral Christmas palette, just as I've mentioned on the Holiday Wish List Hop post.

Thank you so much to both my cousins for getting this awesome MAC palette for me! I love you loads!!

I've ya'll don't mind, I gave my new eye shadow palette a little photo shoot

I have yet to try out this palette and I'm pretty excited to because I already have a couple of ideas on how I'm going to use it! xD


A little tutorial for those who have spent HOURS trying to figure out how to take out the shadow pans from the quad.

So it's a

How to take out the Eye Shadow pan from a MAC Palette quad Tutorial

Step 1: Press down slightly on both sides on the bottom of the palette (use two hands for this - I didn't because I was hold the camera with my other hand) 

As you can see on the photo I'm using my thumb - just press down slightly and the top should pop up.

Like this.

Step 2: I just realized this doesn't need steps but whatever. You can now take out the plate from the casing.

And when you lift it you can see the bottom of the shadow pans, just use your finger to help push out the pans 

and voilà!

I hope this helps because it took me an hour trying to figure it out. I googled, I watched multiple videos on youtube. Then finally I figured it out!

It's amazing how such a small gift can make my Christmas one of the best. :p
Thank you again Yasi & Sawsy for this awesome MAC palette! I will use it wisely! xD

And lets end this post with a selfie!
I got new glasses! yay

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Wish List Hop + Giveaway: Holiday Wish List

Christmas is just around the corner and though I don't really celebrate it, I want to write up a fun Christmas related post.

For me, when I think of Christmas, I think of the colors red and green, candy canes, ginger bread houses, christmas lights, presents and my mums delicious baked macaroni.

What first comes to mind when you think of Christmas?

This post is apart of the Holiday Wish list Hop hosted by Gliterary Girl Media, and they have a GRAND PRIZE at the end.

My Holiday Wish List

1. The recipe to Starbucks' Toffee Nut Latte. They sell it every year here in Bahrain, during the months between November up to January or February. And every year I have to patiently wait for Starbucks to serve this particular drink because it's one my absolute favorites of their annual drinks. I am also really looking forward to trying out their other annual drinks they don't offer within this minuscule country.

2. Perfect Reindeer Sweater. We've had yearly secret santa's for two years with my sister and cousins, and every year I ask for a reindeer sweater. I never got it :(. Though I saw a couple of them at the store during that time, I didn't want to get it because it didn't feel like the right one. Red and white, white and red, or black and white, with multiple reindeers lined up horizontally on the chest of the shirt feels like the perfect reindeer sweater. And maybe a couple of snowflakes here and there.

3. Holiday Mug. I am not particular about mugs, but I've grown to enjoy their company during breakfast and tea time. Drinking from the same cup every single day for the entire year can be a hell of a lot boring. I've grown an interest for changing mugs every year for the holiday. The perfect holiday mug with the Christmas or New Year colors and is able to survive in the microwave is perfect.

4. Plain White Christmas Lights. I bought myself some colorful Christmas lights a year back and when I went to get the plain white ones this year, I wasn't able to find them at the store. "How odd" I thought. "'Tis Christmas time and proper simple Christmas lights are no where to be found! :(" they probably ran out. I want plain white ones that I can decorate my room with. The colorful ones that I got can be a bit overwhelming to the eyes sometimes.

5. Mac Christmas Palette. Every time I pass by the MAC store, there would always be a voice in my head telling me that I should get a Mac x4 Palette. But there is another voice telling me that it's too expensive and to get something cheaper, because the palette alone is quite pricy, then I'll need to buy the eye shadow separately, it's too much. Hence it being on my wish list. A neutral christmas themed mac x4 palette with the colors; Mystery, Beauty Marked, Vanilla, and Plumage

And that concludes my short wish list. Time for the giveaway.

I will be giving away one Christmas/Holiday themed book to one winner Make My Wish Come True by Fiona Harper. Though I haven't read the book myself yet, it is definitely the type book I would most definitely enjoy during the winter season!

This giveaway is open internationally, so anyone can partake! ^^,

Doesn't this cover seem to blend in with my blog layout! :D 

Most of us already knows the drill, you just need to fill out the rafflecopter. This giveaway will be open from the 16th of December - 20th of December and I will be announcing the winner of the giveaway on 22nd of December, on this blog post itself and I will also email the winner personally to ask for their address. NOTE: If the winner does not get back to me within 48 hours, I will be picking a new winner. 

Good Luck everyone and Happy Holidays!
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Don't forget to hop on over to the other blogs participating in this HOLIDAY HOP!

Friday, December 13, 2013

[Books] Losing It by Cora Carmack

Goodreads | Booklikes
Dec 9 - Dec 12


Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.


I was extremely excited to start this book. I saw it on goodreads, read the synopsis and hastily went to bookdepository to buy it!

The book started off okay, it was straight to the point. Bliss wanted to lose her v-card and the best way she could do it was to have a one night stand. In the end she gets too nervous and leaves the guy naked on her bed as she ran away. The next day she sees the same guy she left the night before standing in front of her class and introduced himself as her new professor. Dan dan daaaaaan.

First of all, the cover. I just want to point out that being in the middle east, I can't just go around carrying a book with a book cover like that without a book jacket. So it barely left my room. I can't stop starring at Garrick on the cover. It is perfect ;) (okay mixed feelings there)

I was glued to this book for daaaays. It was a very sweet and slightly angsty, just a bit, but the humor covers up most of the angst. Again, I just have to say that I love how it's all straight to the point, which makes it a perfect short and enjoyable read.

This book really reminds me of a dirtier version of those boy-next-door contemporary YA books.

I recommend this book to those who are all into those forbidden love scenarios. This could be a choice for you.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Third Blogoversary + Small Giveaway: One I didn't miss

Hello there my dear readers!

I bet you're all wondering why the title is titled "One I didn't miss". Well, ever since I officially started blogging about Fashion, Food, Books, and Beauty and not random objects, activities and such, I would miss my blogoversary every year for the past two years. But this time, I kept track of every move my blog has taken.

These past three years have been a journey that; I have to say, happen to mainly focus on Books, rather than the other categories in this blog (^^;). Books are my company. Fashion and Beauty have been my recent interests and pleasures. And Food is my sanctuary.

Oddly enough, it was only this year that I finally understood the meaning of blogging. It is writing about one's life, opinions, advice, and all of the sort into one or multiple posts to put our voice out there. There are some of us who don't expect readers to be interested in what we have to say, but there are some of us who are desperate for the attention. I am somewhere in between. There are times when I would watch how the number of views per post grows everyday and there are times when I would just forget and pour my heart and brains out into what I'm writing.

Though these past few years have given me a few added followers, I am grateful for those who continue to come back. Thank you. :)

In honor of my 3rd Blogoversary, I will be hosting a giveaway, for 3 days. From Dec 12th - Dec 14th.

After multiple indecisive contemplation, I have decided to giveaway a £10 Gift Card from ASOS, which is around $17. AND it is open Internationally. So YAY!

Just fill out the rafflecopter below and Good Luck!
Visit to check out the fabulous clothing they sell!

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Thank you to all those who enjoy the content of my blog so far. ^^,


[Books] Spotlight + Giveaway: Christmas Train by Thomas S. Monson

Hello there my lovely readers! Happy Holidays! 
I hope you all are pretty excited for the actual holidays to start, and if it already did, GOOD FOR YOU! Enjoy it all while it lasts! 

To get in with the holiday spirit! I would like to help introduce Thomas S. Monson's new holiday book, The Christmas Train, with The Christmas Train Blog Tour hosted by Inspired Kathy

christmas train tour

Here is the Tour Schedule to view other bloggers involved in this tour.

Christmas train
  The Christmas Train In this children’s picture book, President Thomas S. Monson recounts a Christmas memory from his childhood. As a boy, he yearned for an electric train. To his delight, on Christmas morning he got exactly that a train that operated through the miracle of electricity. Then he noticed a second train that his mother had purchased for the boy down the street whose family was struggling. Although it was only a wind-up train, it had an beautiful oil tanker car, which little Tommy wanted for his own. Soon after, Tommy s mother invited him to accompany her to the neighbor s home to deliver the gift. Young Mark was thrilled with his new train and, of course, didn t notice the missing train car. However, a remorseful Tommy did. What happened next will bring the spirit of Christmas into every heart and home. Illustrated by renowned artist Dan Burr, The Christmas Train is sure to be a classic Christmas story and a beautiful addition to every Christmas library.

Includes a QR code for a FREE download of President Monson's narration of the story! Winner of the 2012 Gold Medal Mom's Choice Award! Download the new interactive Christmas Train app for your iPad! The pages come alive with animations, sound effects, and narration by the author, Thomas S. Monson. Kids will love listening to a true Christmas story, read by a familiar voice, while navigating trains, turning Christmas lights on and off, and experiencing the importance of giving during the Christmas season.
Click Here to Learn More
About the Author President Thomas S. Monson was set apart as the sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008. He had previously served for twenty-two years in the First Presidency of the Church, after having been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since October1963. Five years after his call to the Twelve, he was given a special assignment for the work of the Church in Europe, requiring many visits with members behind the Iron Curtain. He was instrumental in the construction of the Freiberg Germany Temple and in advancing the Lord’s work in other eastern European countries that were part of the communist bloc. He also served as chairman of the Scriptures Publication Committee and supervised the process that resulted in the new editions of the scriptures. His ministry has been characterized by his compassion for the needs of individuals and his gift for one-on-one service. President Monson and his wife, Frances, are the parents of three children, grandparents of eight, and great-grandparents of eight.   About the Illustrator Dan Burr earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree in illustration from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Patti, are raising their two children in the Teton Valley of southeast Idaho, a setting that provides great artistic inspiration and fantastic fly fishing. Dan is a well-known illustrator, having been in the business for many years, most recently working as a children’s picture book illustrator. A few of the books Dan has illustrated are The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes; God Bless Your Way; A Christmas Journey; and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

Christmas Train by Monson

Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Good luck on the giveaway! :3

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Friday, December 6, 2013

[Books] Wallflower #3 - The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Goodreads | Booklikes
Nov 26 - Dec 5, 2013


A Devil's Bargain

Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!

Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared,unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.

But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts --- which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions ... or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.


The Devil in Winter is the third book of the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas. The book started off with a continuation of an event that happened in the second book; It Happened One Autumn.

Let me just say that I've had my suspicious of St. Vincent from the very beginning he was introduced in IHOA. He has the reputation of ruining the good names of women who happen to fall into his lustful and sexy traps. And what a perfect woman for St. Vincent to challenge his womanizing nature than to use Evangeline Jenner as a subject. Evie, is the shy, quiet, and insecure one among the wallflowers. I wondered how on earth would she be able to find a husband without a boost of self-confidence, and Evie certainly surprised me with how she has bloomed from a shy flower bud into a beautiful glowing and confident flower.

I love this book to death. I would read it before bed and there were multiple times when I would fall asleep reading and end up hugging the book tight so that it wouldn't fall off my bed. It has become my favorite from the series so far, right above Secrets of a Summer Night.

This book was exciting, heart warming, comical and humorous, and is purely beautiful. Both characters were perfect, and watching them grow and change is always so enchanting. This book isn't the regular historical romance where a woman and man despise each other and then later on fall it love. I think this is something different. It has a bit of mystery and action on to it, but it doesn't over flow the emotional-romance side of it. It all fits perfectly into a 300 page book of perfection.

Highly recommended to those who enjoy a fascinating story of how a womanizer tries to seduce an insecure wallflower who wants nothing but freedom from him. It is also a much better read for the winter time.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

[Books] Until I Die by Amy Plum

Goodreads | Booklikes
Nov 26-28, 2013


Kate has chosen to leave the comfort and safety of her human world in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural universe he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant—even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering.

Heady with romance and rife with danger, the second book of the DIE FOR ME trilogy follows Vincent and Kate as they search—separately—for a solution to their plight, pursuing their quest from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city’s squalid underbelly. Although the experiment that Vincent attempts is progressively destroying him, he insists on seeing it through to the end. This prompts Kate to strike out on her own into the dangerous world of the revenants to find another way. But she unwittingly puts everyone she loves at risk when she discovers a family of ancient healers who hold the key to a secret that could help the bardia—the good revenants—overthrow their murderous enemies, the numa, forever.

And while the lovers search for something they have little chance of finding, a new threat arises among the numa. Kate finds herself in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, not as a bystander…but as a target.


Until I Die is the second book of the Revenants series by Amy Plum. Kate has left her normal teenage life for the life with her revenant boyfriend, Vincent. As Vincent promised to Kate, he would resist the urge of death whenever the urge strikes, but it causes him to suffer and so Kate tries to find away to help him and a way for both of them to be together while their adversaries; the Numa, tries to find the Champion who will possess the a whole lot of power that can be taken by force. Hence they revenants and numa go back into battle and the book ends in a cliff hanger. 

I apologize for the straight forward introduction but that's how I see it all. 

I read the first book of the series; Die for Me, back in 2011 (Waw 2011, it's been 2 years. O.O) and I really enjoyed it, but when I started the second book, I didn't feel the same way as I did with the first book. I was terribly infuriated with the teenage drama, but I managed to look past it and tried to enjoy the book. Though reading it made me feel slightly nostalgic towards YA novels. 

The entire book was thrilling and exciting and I had those moments when you can't put the book down until you finish this one chapter but after what felt like about 20 minutes you ended up finishing five chapters. 

A few pages towards the end, I mentally recited to myself "Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Omg no!!!". It was those moments when you just want to look up at the wall blankly and process what you just read. The last words literally gave me goosebumps. Though it was a close to the edge cliff hanger, it was a darn good one. 

Despite the teenage ignorance, Until I Die is a great book. It can be unputdownable, heart-wrenching and unexpected at times. With the deep cliff hanger that gave me goosebumps I am definitely picking up the next book before 2014 ends!