Passing by a Starbucks on your way to work/class/anywhere? Try the Butterbeer Hack!
COLD: Order a grande Vanilla Bean Frappachino (or any creme based frap). Ask for 3 pumps of Toffee Nut Syrup and 3 pumps of Caramel Syrup. Depending on your sweet tooth, you can also get a caramel drizzle on top. Adjust the size/pumps depending on your taste.
HOT: Order steamed milk. Add Caramel Syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti). Add Toffee Nut syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti). Add Cinnamon Dolce syrup (2 for tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti). Whipped cream and salted caramel bits on top. If you prefer to add a coffee taste: Add a shot of espresso (2 for a grande or venti)
Who doesn’t love eating/drinking food from their favourite books? CHEERS!!
OKAY…WHAT?! IT’S PERFECT! I know I spazz at every beautiful book cover, but seriously LOOK AT THIS! I’ve always loved Kiera’s classy theme for the Selection Series; each one showcasing a girl in a breathtaking gown. Very couture/ethereal. And if you look carefully, they all totally play into the story lines each time. Anyways, much love to Kiera Cass for capping off the series with another beauty. The One is to be published May 6th, 2014 by HarperTeen and let’s be honest, that is ridiculously far away 😦
I absolutely LOVE it when authors take the time to guide others into the world of writing. Getting advice from someone who has been there themselves really helps aspiring writers like myself…and perhaps you as well? A few days ago, author Veronica Roth (Divergent trilogy) discussed the world of writing and answered several interesting questions by readers on her tumblr theartofnotwriting.tumblr.com:
Do you have any advice for beginning writers who think they can’t get anything decent done?
My first piece of advice is stop thinking about whether it’s “decent” or not! Assessments of quality are stifling at the early stages of drafting in particular (and all throughout the writing process!)— just do the best you can at any given moment. And my second piece of advice is to stop worrying about getting anything “done”! All I did from ages 11-20 was write little broken pieces of stories that fizzled out after ten pages, twenty pages, fifty pages, three hundred pages…and then one day I found something that I thought was worth writing to the end. And after that I was able to finish things more often. But no time spent writing little pieces is ever wasted— Divergent was one of those pieces, for me, something I started and abandoned quickly after my freshman year of college and then picked up again four years later with a fresh perspective. I don’t really think any writing is wasted. Everything gets you where you need to go.
So, once you’ve stopped worrying about both of those things, try to just write because you love it. Write even when you don’t love it, too. And you’ll be fine.
“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea” – Isak Dinesen
We are blessed to call “grandparents” those who treasure us unconditionally and beyond comprehension; who love fiercely and generously as if that’s a given. I’ve lost the last of mine a few days ago, but only in life. For everything they’ve helped me become has made them eternal. Rest in peace and with all my love.
Isn’t it beautiful?!?? I love it!
Let’s talk about death. “Really?”, you ask. Really. Let’s talk about death because we all talk about life too much. We have bucket lists, to-do lists, and plans. We encourage each other to live rather than waste away. We tweet out tear-jerking, motivational quotes pulled from the likes of Oscar Wilde and paint dreamy futures that have no foreseeable end. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
But in the words of Woody Allen, I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens, most of us (okay, practically all of us) shy away from the one concept that is just as inevitable as life. Death.
I’m making assertions on the human condition as if I’m not a part of it, so let’s call for full disclosure. It sounds morbid to admit, but I have a high tolerance regarding anything death-related. In university, I desperately wanted to take a course called The Psychology of Death and Dying. My friends thought it was creepy and my family thought I was crazy, but it was actually a highly popular class. And when I finally got the chance to enroll, it did not disappoint. Granted, there were the occasional silent tears from students when something hit close to home and the material was depressing. Yet, there was a strange freedom in spending three hours a week talking about all things that are generally taboo in polite conversation. Suicide, palliative care, bereavement – it was nothing fabulous. But death is the less glamorous and loyal companion to life. It happens to all of us, will happen to all of us, but we forget that it’s what makes life that much more precious.
Philosophy aside, let’s talk books (finally moving on to the real point haha…I beat around the bush, it’s a talent 🙂 ). Call me hypocritical, but even though I claim to be some death-hugging-not-afraid-to-talk-about-it psycho I’m not one to go for books on the subject. I can’t do it. All those heartbreaking, sweetly-tailored stories on losing someone you love just don’t appeal to me which is why I was hesitant about reading The Fault in Our Stars. Of course, I’m an idiot because this book is the absolute best.
I’ve been a fan of Khaled Hosseini’s work since high school, where my English teacher introduced me to A Thousand Splendid Suns. It was unlike anything I’d read before. I went on to read The Kite Runner and became enchanted by the world that exists within Afghanistan, a country of which I had only heard about in war-related news. By some stroke of luck (!!!) I was fortunate enough to win a special meet-and-greet with Mr. Hosseini in the green room thanks to Cammy at Indigo Events. I can’t describe to you how over the moon I was! The whole experience was surreal. As winner, I was allowed to take a guest along so I chose one of my best friends who happens to be an even bigger fan of his. It turned out to be an overall spectacular day.
Before the event began, my friend and I were treated to front row reserved seats and a fun V.I.P experience. We were led to the back where we met Mr. Hosseini. He was every bit as gracious and kind as I’d imagined him to be. He asked me about myself, my background, and where I currently lived. He wanted to know what I had written as my contest entry (the question was “Why is Khaled Hosseini your favourite author”) so I told him that I felt his writing and characters were real and grounding. So much so, that they make me feel grateful for everything that I have in my own life. I think one of the best feelings a book can give you is a greater sense of clarity, conviction, and gratitude 🙂
From left: My friend Parul, Khaled Hosseini, and myself
To celebrate the paperback release of Catherine McKenzie’s Forgotten, I decided to finally buckle down and write a review on it because it definitely deserves one. I came across this book last summer as I was writing out a list of new releases and eventually it made it’s way onto my library list and into my hands. I knew that this was one book I absolutely HAD to read because the summary was ridiculously intriguing.
Summary: The book stars Emma Tupper, a dedicated lawyer with big plans for her future. However, following the death of her mother, Emma decides to take a month-long sabbatical from the corporate universe and impulsively follows her heart to Africa. Everything in Emma’s life has always followed her plans, but what she couldn’t account for was the illness and devastating earthquake that leave her stranded in an African village for several months. Upon returning safe and sound, Emma has to come to terms with the fact that everyone she knew has moved on from her supposed “death”. How is she supposed to get back everything she knew and loved – her job, her apartment, and her life – when everything has changed? While others view this as a chance for Emma to change, she struggles with trying to fit into a place where she once belonged. Forgotten explores the journey of figuring out who you really are and what you really want when you have absolutely nothing left.
Favourite Quote: It seemed like almost nothing had happened, but that almost nothing changed everything for me.
Review: This book was such a relief. I had been itching to read something real, something that hits it home in the emotions department, something that warrants deep, soul-searching thoughts. This was it. The characters in the book are all so likable that I felt as if I was being told a story by a friend. Emma is a strong character, even when Continue reading