UPDATE: My Newborn Nephew!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hey, everyone!

I am so so so excited to make a post about this little (little, unexpectedly perfect) update. My sister finally gave birth! So my sister has been pregnant for 9 months which is actually already a pretty surreal thing to experience. It's crazy because I still remember the night of her wedding, and the day of her graduation, and the days where she left early for campus, and the night of her 17th birthday party. It certainly feels like things have been going fast forward, and this is definitely the peak of it all.

On January 29th 2015, in a rainy and cold evening, my sister finally gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. His name is Edward Geoffrey Valentio (Valentio being the last name of his dad). Edward has my sister's eyes, and my brother-in-law's nose and mouth. He was born with absolutely perfect and fair skin, and even though it was painful (said my sister), the whole process happened in less than a minute, which is really fast for someone who's going into labor. Edward is 51 centimetres in height and 3.2 kilograms in weight.

I am absolutely obsessed with how big his eyes are and how chubby his cheeks are. I feel like I could squeeze this little guy.

A New Life Companion

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I am so excited about this, you guys.

So about last week, my mom went out of town for a calligraphy workshop that lasted 2 days. When she got home, she had bought me a stuffed bunny (long story) and a brand new planner! I've always wanted one and I've been needing one for so long now that I'm in high school. And the minute I saw this, I totally fell in love with it. I just knew that it would be my life companion. Well, at least for about 2 years, give or take a few days. If you were wondering, it's a product by Moleskine!

From the outside, it looks pretty simple. It's pocket-sized and has this band going around it then along the side to secure it, and the cover is just this subtle, black hard cover. I'm actually not planning on personalising or decorating it on the outside, because I do want to keep it as simple as possible and leave the whole creativity for the inside. It's black, so there's no need for explaining. It's just absolutely gorgeous to me. I can't even try to explain it. The planner is designed to go all the way until December 2016.

Inside, it's got everything I need

A 2015-to-2016 calendar.

Then this part is kind of a simple monthly planner. Here, I write down the big events, holidays and birthdays and whatnot. (And yes, I already wrote Christmas on December 25th 2015 even if it's still January because that's just the kind of Christmas-enthusiast I am)

And this part, the one that's totally gonna come in handy, is the weekly planner. Above, you'll see three pictures of what I wrote on the very start. As I said, it goes from the first week of 2015, to the last of 2016. So they still had December 31st and January 1st, even though I got this planner on January 18th. But, I saw a chance and took it. I ended up writing down my resolutions on the 1st, as well as putting in some quotes. (I hope you don't think I'm trying to show off my horrible pretty-writing skills because I totally am not)

I didn't want a day planner because I'm still at school and so listing what I had to accomplish that day in forms of hours wouldn't be much help. And it would be space-consuming anyway. So, I'm glad that this is a weekly planner, where I can just write everything down from quizzes, deadlines, to what I want to do on that day. It's helping me a lot for simply sorting things out and figuring out what I have to do, and when I have to do it. Organizing my tasks is a big deal for me, because I always have such a tight schedule. I swear, this planner is Heaven-sent.

11 Tips on Starting a Healthy Lifestyle

Thursday, January 22, 2015

One of my new year resolutions this year is to become healthier and start a better lifestyle. I'm on this journey of getting better, emotionally, mentally, and physically. After a while, I realised and kind of guessed that 90% of the population in, well, everywhere also has this on their resolutions list! Everyone's either trying to be skinnier, or lose weight, or exercising. 

Basically, I wanted to write this post to just kind of give us all a head start and a little how-to guide on where to start. Here are a few tips that I think most of us need to remind ourselves when we are trying to dive in and start a much healthier lifestyle:

  1. Focus with your time and effort. I don't know if this happens to you as well, but sometimes when I'm trying to do cardio, or just exercising regularly, I find myself being distracted by my phone's notifications. I did my reps and work out routine, but I didn't always give it my full attention. This year, I'm shifting away from this ugly habit when working out. Turn off your notifications, and diminish every distraction! This will save up a lot of your time and energy, and your exercise will be a lot more effective.
  2. Stop making "not enough cute workout gear" as a new excuse. Lately, I've found that some people simply feel like a workout is not a workout unless they're wearing the prettiest Nike roshes, or the Forever 21 sportswear, or that Victoria's Secret PINK gym gear. Or maybe it's something similar. News flash, you don't even need that many equipments. You have an inflatable ball? Or maybe a pair of dumbbells? That's great, use them! You don't have any equipment or cute gym outfits? Then wear something else. Just be comfortable! You don't have to wait until you can "look cute", and frankly, it's the silliest reason to not start now. Stop with the mirror selfies and get to work!
  3. Don't do it as a form of punishment. It's easy to get caught up in telling yourself that you must lose weight, or achieve a leaner stomach, or lose the muffin top, but at the end of the day, all your attempts won't really work unless you're doing it to achieve something you want, not to rid yourself of something you don't want. Maybe the muffin top is bothering you, or wow, you must really want a thigh gap. But honestly, the most important thing about having a healthy lifestyle is to do it by feeling good about yourself and taking good care of yourself.  The biggest reward that I get out of this process is how i become a lot more comfortable in my own skin. I'm starting to love my body a lot more, and so that's exactly why we should push forward in this. Be healthy, but be happy as well!

2014 Movies Review

Monday, January 12, 2015

Now that 2014 has come to an end, I feel that it is indeed an obligation for me to do a review on some of the popular movies that came out in 2014. Like my previous movie review post, I will basically be talking about several movies I already watched and I'll tell you just how much I liked (or disliked) them and reasons why.

I don't know why writing movie reviews are becoming such a thing for me, but I think it's practically because I always have a lot to say about movies. I've always been a movie person for as long as I can remember and at the end of every movie, I always have strong opinions on each of them from many different aspects of the movie itself. I enjoy and am quite familiar with the movie industry for some reason, so I'm just taking that to my advantage.

So here it goes! Enjoy my brief reviews on these eleven movies from 2014:

1. Maleficent

I think it is pretty obvious: Maleficent is one of the best movies of 2014, and one of the best Disney movies ever made. There is no denying that whatsoever, how could one even begin? The pure slaying-queen aura that is Angelina Jolie, or the mystifying excellence of Disney's animations, or the beauty and innocence of sweet Elle Fanning? From whatever aspect, this movie does deserve all the credits. Although, I do have a lot to say about this movie. So stay tuned.

I hate to say this, but I did feel like Angelina was practically 90% the reason why I loved this movie. Don't get me wrong, I will forever love Disney and this movie was indeed brilliant, but her acting, her voice, her characterization, her beauty, her presence itself kind of made the entire movie for me. I also did like how they got Angelina's daughter to play little Aurora, and I also liked that they gave a very distinct and great background story to Maleficent. The animations were indeed excellent, and I give credits to the brilliant makeup artist to perfectly construct the face of Maleficent.

Now, I hate to say this too, but even if my heart fell in love with the movie wholeheartedly, my mind still detected several things that made me rethink a lot about this movie, and eventually I didn't love this movie as much as I hoped I would. 

The first and very obvious mistake to me (but apparently almost no one else noticed this) was one made by the costume designer/stylist. In the scene where Maleficent was at war with the king and his armies, Aurora found a way to Maleficent's wings, and basically Aurora crashed the glass and the wings flew freely and found their way onto Maleficent's back, and bam. Wings are back. That part was cool, but what wasn't cool was how I saw Maleficent slowly stand up after regaining her wings in, not a black overwhelming dress or a dark cape, but rather what looked like black leather jeans and a black top to match. Honestly, this ruined the idea of the whole movie to me. This was in an era long ago before our time! We're talking renaissance, Victorian maybe? Explain to me why they gave Maleficent a pair of leather jeans when she was fighting off knights and soldiers with swords in a stone chamber centuries ago. Do explain. I'm sorry, but what were they thinking? You have to stick to the chronology of the movie itself, and the costume that she was wearing in this little scene was the worst to go for. I do hope you guys could understand this.

Another thing that I didn't like was how they basically brought disgrace to Disney's other classic characters in the story. One. Why is Aurora's dad suddenly a murderous crazy evil psychopath? Why is he screaming all the time and ready to go to war? What, why? Reminding you, dear producers, that the one who actually fought with the dragon wasn't the king, but the prince. Whereas the prince, two, in the movie, did not do anything credible. All he did was gaze lovingly into Aurora's eyes and ride a pretty horse and make an attempt on kissing her. Okay, I admit that it was very clever how they twisted the plot and made Maleficent the one to give the true love's kiss. But where was the prince to cut down all the gigantic thorns to get to his true love? Or where was he to even meet the dragon? Three. I have always perceived Aurora as this composed, elegant, classy princess. I think in the original story, Aurora was dreamy and curious, but quite sensitive and mature. Most of the time, she was very calm and never asked for much, and she spoke in soft tones. I love Elle, but movie-Aurora was a lot more childish. Giggling 85% of the time, running around everywhere, a very young face and all. I felt like it was slightly off of what I've always imagined of Aurora. Four. The fairies. The good, good fairies. I know that in the original story, they did have their conflicts, but they were good and thoughtful and sincere and caring. They were basically three different loving grandmothers. This movie made them look like idiots. What was supposed to be the "caring and responsible grandmothers" turned into "idiotic grandmothers with a small case of Alzheimer's". The movie completely ruined the image of these fairies that I loved (even chose the worst set of actresses to play them). I do not want Dolores Umbridge to be the main fairy here.

Whoo, that was a lot! Overall, it's still a very acceptable movie. Very well-put together in other ways, and despite the things I didn't like, plenty seemed to impress me.

2. Robocop

I watched Robocop at the theatres on Valentine's Day with my best friends. Watching a robot movie on a day that's supposedly about love and romance? Okay, not our best decision. But anyway, this movie is kind of spectacular.

The movie kind of talks about how things are in the future, so in it we see major changes in terms of the technology. Already very advanced and modern, so I'm pretty sure the story belongs in about decades from now. The movie basically tells a story of a man who is an officer. He lost most of his body in a very critical condition because of a bomb planted in his car. And then there are these scientists and marketing people who are working to sell the idea of robot technology into America. They take this opportunity and turn the man into a robot cop. Hence, Robocop. 

Honestly, I did like the whole idea, I mean the storyline, the characters, they were all pretty good. It's a good movie, but wasn't as astounding as I expected. Just another "not-quite-there" action blockbuster movie. What really impressed me was one of the actors, his name is Gary Oldman. In the movie, he plays the role of Dr. Dennett Norton, and you guys, his performance was magnificent. I don't know but he should probably get an award. Through the moments of panic and pure genius, every aspect of his performance was very well played. I actually found the other characters quite weak in terms of the acting and the characterisation. The main character himself didn't even seem to break through that boundary, you know? Like how the main character always has to make something of himself, especially in an action-packed movie like this. I felt like he didn't talk enough, or do enough. It was too much robot, not enough human. I get that that is the purpose of the movie, but it kind of leaves me yawning.

But overall, it's a good movie, and if you haven't watched it, that's okay. 

3. Mockingjay Part 1

Okay, so I already did a review of this movie in this post but I felt like I needed to say a bit more.

I simply do not like how the media is seeing this. The movie practically shows Katniss slowly losing herself, then fighting in battle, Finnick expressing his darkest secrets on live television for the sake of the victors, the ruins of District 12, Peeta being beaten and losing his mind, Panem's rebellion, and so many other things. And what does the media have to say about this? So... Peeta or Gale now? I swear I'll hang these people in the hanging tree.

If you haven't read my post with a review on this, I just thought it was a really good movie overall, you guys. Very emotional and overwhelming, and a great movie to resemble the first part of Mockingjay. When reading the book, I felt kind of bored at the beginning of Mockingjay, so to be honest, I had my doubts in watching this movie. But in the end, I was impressed. Well done, Lionsgate.

4. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Can I just say: FINALLY???? I do not understand why they waited five years to make this third movie. Look at his kid, all grown up and wanting to be a DJ in Ibiza and all!

Oh well anyway, I loved this movie! I watched it with my siblings a few days ago and I adored it. It was so funny (including hilarious Hugh Jackman cameos and starring Rebel hell yeah Wilson) and I found it totally amusing. The Hugh Jackman part really cracked me up, and not to mention the very weird romance between Tilly (that's Rebel's character) and the strange Neanderthal (whose name is Laa, by the way). But the kiss with the monkey? No. Didn't like that. They went a little too far with that.

I was quite devastated when I realised that this was probably going to be their last movie ever, considering at the end Larry finally quits his job as a night guard. Also, I was actually hoping to see the museum's gala performance come back to life after the first attempt which was a disaster. Other than that, I also just really desperately want to see Rebecca get back with Larry. God knows where she is now, but it would've been so much better if they reunited at the end. Another thing that made me really sad was seeing Robin Williams on the big screen. It was so overwhelming to me, I started having heart palpitations. Made me miss him even more, like way more. Especially in the scene where Larry technically does say goodbye to Teddy. Someone revive him. :(

But anyway guys, it's a great movie. Totally impossible to pick my favourite characters, but in the movie, it's probably Teddy, Sacagawea, and Attila the Hun. They're quite brilliant. Akhmenrah is also pretty nice to look at, I guess (that sounded a little stranger than I expected). He is a perfect fit for the character! Jed and Octavius, of course, the perfect duo. Loving all the bromance happening in this movie, and I did feel like they didn't put these two guys into enough combat. Practically any combat, really! I really expected to see them fight or something, because that would be great. I do think that they should've cast someone else to play Larry's son (Jake Cherry from the first 2 movies was a lot better in my opinion), but this movie impressed me very much. I am such a fan of the Night movies, and couldn't have asked for a better end game.

5. Annie

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