Monday, November 10, 2014

Doctor Who Season 8 Finale



Season 8 of Doctor Who officially wrapped up Saturday night so I thought I'd give you my thoughts on the episode and the season in general.  Before you go on reading any further however I have to say that there are probably going to be SPOILERS in this post so if for some reason you haven't watched the whole season I would advise you to read no further.

First I want to say that this entire season was so good (even though I think almost every season is amazing).  What made this season great was Capaldi and the way he changed the dynamics between the Doctor and his companions.  I have never seen any classic Who so this was my first experience with an older Doctor and I loved it!  The development of Clara also made this season fun to watch.  She became a fully formed character and not just a plot device.  I was afraid she was going to stay one sided and flat but this season really fleshed her out.

And it was Clara that made "Dark Water" and "Death in Heaven" great to watch.  We got to see the full spectrum of her emotions and how far she would go for love.  I love the dream sequence at the beginning of "Dark Water".  We got to see the darkest parts of Clara, parts that we do not often see in companions.

Another part that I loved about this finale was Missy.  She was completely nuts and Michelle Gomez did an amazing job creating the character.  I feel like if I went back to watch the episode I would notice so many subtle additions to her character.  Missy was also slightly comical even if she was deranged and you couldn't help but hate her.  It was an interesting mix of feelings.

One thing I will say about the episode (and this is a major spoiler!) I wish we had gotten to know Danny a little more in previous episodes.  When Danny died I felt sad but only because Clara was sad.  I never felt like I was personally losing something, like I did when Rory died (again and again). I hope we will meet Danny Pink again because I think he has so much potential.  His final scene as a soldiers proves he's an incredible man.

Overall I thought the finale was great.  It had all the aspects of a Doctor Who finale with funny and extraordinarily sad bits.  Peter Capaldi once again delivered a great performance and I'm looking forward to seeing him next season. I cannot wait until the Christmas episode. The little scene at the end with Nick Frost as Santa Clause made me so excited for the Christmas episode.  Oh and this trailer today also amazing...



What did you think of the episode?  I know a lot of people are getting a little fed up with Moffat at this point, but I thought this season was actually one of his better seasons.  I'd love to know what you all thought.

ox Caitlin

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Comfortable

It's been a while.  I've been super busy lately.  It feels like school is eating me alive and graduate school decisions have to be made sooner rather than later.  Today I came across this video and it made me think about how I view myself and my perceived flaws. It is easily to get bogged down by our flaws.  For example, I've always disliked my nose.  It curves slightly to the right and whenever I look at myself in photos I cannot help but zoom into that tiny flaw.  In reality I'm probably the only person who really notices/cares but it still matters.

The video shows the stark difference between how children and adults perceive themselves.  The piece shows how much we judge our bodies and our minds for things we cannot control.  It made me realize how much adults critique their bodies while children are much more accepting.


I think the greatest message to be gained here is that we are capable of loving ourselves.  If we could only grasp on to the carefree attitude of childhood we can regain our ability to appreciate every aspect of ourselves.

Let me know what you think of the video?  I hope it made you rethink your own perception just a little bit.

ox Caitlin

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Think Positive!


I won't be the first to admit that sometimes I'm unhappy.  We all are at one point or another but now that I know everything is going to change within the next year I've been even more unsure.  I don't know what I want.  I have goals but there is no clear path to those goals and I feel like I'm bushwhacking through life right now.  

Today I came across this great video from Ellie and Jared.  If you are new to the family vlogging sphere of YouTube definitely check these guys out first because they are great!  They are such a fun loving little family. Anyway, they posted a great throw back Thursday video about creating your own happiness that I think we can all learn from.  It is so easy to get caught up in life.  

We are always busy, tired, angry, and sad that is sometimes seems so difficult to be happy.  However, I'm a firm believer and faking it until you make it.  Find one thing about your day that made you happy and go with that.  Force yourself to smile in the mirror every day.  Wake up in the morning and take a moment to be happy that the day can go any direction from that moment on.  You decide!

Totally check out Ellie and Jared's video it will make you feel so much better about your day!  They are great people with awesome advise. 

Ellie and Jared

What are some ways that you try to stay positive about life?  I usually try and write my feelings down.  It helps me plan out my life and makes me realize that in the whole scheme of things my life is not nearly as stressful as I make it out to be. 

ox Caitlin


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Fields






I thought I would show you some of my favorite fall pictures today.  I love where I go to school.  Even what It's raining it's still lovely here.  I will miss it so much next year.  I'm trying to take everything in.  Even the little things like the rain drenched leaves or the fields of soybeans.

What have you been up to today?

ox Caitlin

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Songs of September

I thought I'd compile the songs that have gotten me through September and the beginning of the school year.  I've been listening to quite a bit of folksy songs recently.  I even made a new Spotify playlist specifically for that reason. Sorry if you aren't into indie folk songs.  Also I've found that many of the songs are slower, save a few exceptions.  They've just helped me relax as I walk through the turning leaves of fall.  Anyway enough rambling here are my favorite songs of September!

The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov


I love this one! What makes this band so great are the lyrics.  They are so interesting and poetic.


Red Eye by Vance Joy


Vance Joy takes me back to my days in Australia.  This song is on their newly released album.  Definitely check it out!

Shake It Off by Taylor Swift


People either love or hate Taylor Swift. I have to admit I was kind of indifferent for a while but now I've come to realize I actually enjoy her music.  You cannot deny that her music isn't catchy.  The music video is also super cute.  Every time I see Taylor Swift on television or in this music video I cannot help but realize that she actually seems like a funny and cute person.  She just always seems so happy and confident in her own quirky skin and I admire her for that.  

So those are some songs that have been on my September playlist.  What have you been listening to lately?  

ox Caitlin 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life as a Woman

I feel like women are torn between two extremes these days.  On one hand the world tells us we should be perfect. We are bombarded by people and pictures telling us to wear the right clothes, right makeup, and the right sized body.  On the other hand we are told not to worry about being perfect. People tell us to embrace our imperfections.  While I completely embrace the second point, I think the messages together are all very confusing.  No matter how hard you try to love yourself there is always society telling you that you're not good enough.

I found a perfect video that embodies the feelings of a woman growing up. I in no way think that this embodies every aspect of a woman's life but I do think it deals with the issues women face in regards to their appearance.  It's cute, funny, and I think the message at the end is particularly important.  Women should try and help each other get through life so that every generation gets a little closer to accepting ourselves.



Hope you all have a great Monday!

ox Caitlin

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Books I've been reading...for class

I haven't had a ton of time to read anything other than class related things but that's okay because I happen to be enjoying many of the books I've read.  Throughout high school I tended to dislike books read during class.  Many times I would skim entire books.  In college I've been trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy more of the books for class.  It's true they are often different from what I read for fun but there dis always time to gain information from what I'm reading.  Plus, knowing the reading helps you get so much more out of classes.

So here are a few of the books I've been reading for class that I've actually enjoyed this semester.

The Evolution of Desire by David M. Buss

Goodreads | Amazon
I'm reading this book for my biology seminar.  If you ignore the raunchy cover and get to the actual science within the book is pretty interesting.  If you are at all interested in evolution and human sexuality, this book would be a good place to start.  Buss gives a good overview of how and why human sexual preferences evolved while keeping the material easy to understand for those who have not studied science.

The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevky

Goodreads | Amazon
If you are looking for something a little creepy for around Holloween I would recommend reading The Double.  I would describe this as a twisted dark comedy with a sarcastic narrator and strange smiles.  The plot follows the life of Mr. Golyadkin, an awkward and slightly off person.  Things get more creepy when he finds his exact double has taken over his life and the reader is constantly questioning whether Golyadkin's troubles are real or all in his mind. 

 In fact if you are also looking for a psychological thriller for this season the movie adaptation looks great as well.  



Paradise Park by Allegra Goodman

Goodreads | Amazon

To be fair I have not finished Paradise Park but I can say that this book is already a great read.  It's a good story about growing up and following the path you want rather than what other's want you to do.  This is for a Religion class so she does find God and tries different paths to spirituality.  I will probably review this book once it is finished.  

I know reading for class is not always fun but you can definitely give them a chance.  They might become some of your favorites. What are some of your favorites you've read for a class?  

ox Caitlin 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Modcloth must-have boots for fall

Right now upstate New York is going through a bit of an Indian summer so it still feels unnaturally warm, but the trees say otherwise.  I cannot tell you how excited I am for fall to get into full swing.  I think almost any girl will tell you that fall clothing is her favorite.  Fall allows you to have so much more fun with layering and patterns.

My favorite part about fall has to be the boots, though.  I've always loved boots.  They keep your feet warm while still looking pretty and put together.  Modcloth has some amazing boots that I've been in love with recently. Here is a quick look at three of my favorites.



I think these three styles are definitely popular right now. I'm the most excited for a knee high look.  I bought a pair of knee high boots at the end of last season and I am super excited for it to get cold enough to wear them.  I'm also on the lookout for a pair of heeled booties.  These black ones are super cute and would look great with a cute dress.  The pair at the top are western inspired.  As a child I always wanted a pair of cowgirl boots (you know the pink ones little girls wear all the time).  I hope I will soon get an adult version.

Now I know this is a little different from my normal posts but I couldn't help share some of my favorite shoes.  I'm such a shoe-aholic.  Shoes can make an outfit. What are your favorite fall items?

ox Caitlin

Monday, September 29, 2014

Who Are You?


Who are you? Really, who are you?  As a twenty-one year old college student I've had to introduce myself tons of times.  In the first week of college alone your are meeting new people daily.  Even now, I probably introduce myself at least once a week and it's always the same.  

"Hi, I'm Caitlin.  I'm from Maine. I'm a Biology and English double major.  I have a younger sister..."

It goes almost exactly like this with the interjection of questions back and forth for a while until the small talk has been exhausted.  You know what is strange.  These questions never truly get to the point.  When someone asks us to describe ourselves we rarely describe things that are unique to ourselves and we always talk about ourselves in relation to other people or things.  Never do we hear the intimate details of what makes someone unique.  

Of course, it's difficult to tell a total stranger what makes you different.  It would be inappropriate to elaborate on what truly makes you tick, or at least society teaches us that it is inappropriate to be too individualistic.  Even when we are with groups of friends it is difficult to overcome the pressures telling you to blend in and tell someone the intimate details about the way you think.  

What if, for one moment, you decided to tell someone something about yourself that wasn't just the mundane?  Intimacy is the building block of good relationships.  Telling secrets shows vulnerability but it also unlocks the vulnerability in others.  I think we are all so afraid to show vulnerability these days.  It's almost taboo to admit that you are having a problem.  Everything gets swept under the rug so we are a collective group of emotionless zombies mumbling "I'm good," through the hallways of life. 

If we all just open up a tiny bit to each other maybe we will understand why people act the way they do.  We will empathize more and hate less. We will have a reason to smile. 

This week try and open up a little more to anyone.  Spill a secret no matter how small.  It doesn't have to be a stranger.  It can be anyone you may want to get to know a little better. 

ox Caitlin


Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Maze Runner

About a week or two ago I posted about how I wanted to see The Maze Runner!  Well this past weekend my friends and I made our way to the local cinema and did just that.  To say the least it was awesome!

Sometimes when you go to a movie you expect too much and other times you don't expect much at all.  In the case of The Maze Runner I wasn't expecting much.  It wasn't that I thought the movie was going to be bad, rather, I couldn't remember what happened throughout most of the series.  The movie actually provided me with a good recap about what happened.

The movie was action packed and made me remember that the book is actually pretty violent.  The actors were great, especially Chuck who is my favorite character in the book.  The grievers were also spot on and terrifying.

It may sound weird but the part I loved the most was the lack of a romantic interest.  When the film starts you assume that Theresa is going to be the romantic interest but in the end she is just another character.  It's not that I don't love a little romance with my post apocalyptic society.  In fact most of my favorite books have romance but it was just refreshing to see something focus wholly on the story.  In reality, who would have time for a relationship when the world is folding over on itself?  If anything, The Maze Runner shows us that a story does not have to rely on romance to gather followers.

I totally recommend you see this movie while in theaters.  Seeing an action film like this is just so much more fun when it's on the big screen.  Also if you read the book but can't quite remember it, like me, then totally go an catch up.  It is really a great movie!

Also I'll just leave the trailer here if you need any more convincing.

  

ox Caitlin 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In Review: The Paper Magician

Goodread | Amazon
I've been meaning to talk about this books for almost two weeks now.  I got this book at the very end of summer through Amazon's Kindle first.  This program is great if you want to get your hands on some new books without having to wait the month to get them.  Every month amazon releases four books early on Kindle addition for super low prices.  Anyone with a kindle can read them.  The program is probably hit or miss but I'm sure it gets some new authors much needed publicity.  This book did come out in the beginning of September so if your looking to get your hands on a hard cover copy it is all yours. 

But first let me give you a brief synopsis from the lovely people over at Goodreads.

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.
Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.
An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.
From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.
When I imagine this book as a movie all I can think is Tim Burton style or in the style of the Deathly Hallows drawn scene.  This book is filled with magic from the moment you read the first page.  It has bits of all the great magical stories wrapped into one.  The book also was incredibly cute.  
This being said, I feel like this book doesn't know where to stand.  It isn't quite a children's novel but it isn't quite YA.  While I would totally let any child read this book I sometimes felt it was trying to be YA but not quite getting there.  The relationships were not conceived well enough and the content was not quite as well thought out as I would have liked.  For example, the character of the magician could have been so great.  His relationship with his student could have been amazing but something was lacking.  It was like he had the skeleton of a character but not the flesh.  (Sorry can you tell I'm a little excited for all things fall?) 
I really wanted this book to be good.  The premise was incredibly cute and the characters had so much potential.  Holmberg is definitely going in the right direction with her writing she just needed to push it a little further. I think for a children's book this would be perfect but for an YA or adult read it is lacking the detail and character development.  
ox Caitlin

Monday, September 22, 2014

Yummy Recipes when You're Sick

I spent the majority of this past weekend in bed with a horrible cold.  It seems, without fail, that I get one cold every time I come back to school no matter how hard I try to stay healthy.  I don't know about you, but when I get a cold it usually involves a ton of congestion and some seriously watery eyes.  When I was in elementary school I was constantly asked if everything was okay because it looked though I'd been crying.  I haven't been asked this in a while, but I'm pretty sure that's because I look like the most miserable person when I'm sick.

Anyway while I'm sick there is nothing that makes me feel better than tons of tea and endless supplies of soup.  I've been combing the internet for beautifully brothy soups and other recipes for a sick day.  Here are a few of my favorites!

Mushroom and white bean soup from She Wears Many Hats.  I've been into eating mushrooms lately.  They have such an earthy flavor and cooked down with onions and broth just makes them so great.  I love that this recipe adds beans so you can get a little protein with your meal.

She Wears Many Hats

Egg Drop Soup!  This soup is super easy and again has a ton of protein from the eggs.  You can also add whatever you want to the recipe. Another good way to add some asian flare to your sick day is to jack up your ramen.  By adding some soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and green onions to the traditional ramen packets you can create an easy and yummy sick day lunch. 


Gimme Some Oven
Okay this isn't soup but who can resist a little Indian food on their sick day.  I want to try this tofu curry so badly.  This little creation comes from the lovely blog Turmeric n' spice.  I stumbled across this blog just a few days ago and I'm excited to try some of her recipes.  I love Indian food and what to expand my knowledge of making Indian.  The spices in this yummy curry will surely clear up any stuffed up nose. 

Turmeric and Spice

There are so many great choices for sick days. Tonight I think I'll be making a mushroom soup similar to the first recipe but with the addition of rice.  I'll probably spice it up a little with some chili flakes.  There is no better way to kick the sinus congestion right out with a little spice.  What are some of your favorite sick day recipes?  

ox Caitlin

Friday, September 19, 2014

What's Your Personality?


This semester I am taking this class about identity in literature.  It's an English course but up until this point the class hasn't been entirely what I thought it would be.  We have been talking a lot about psychology, and I'm sorry if you are a psychologist, but its just not my thing.  That all changed today.

Our assignment was to take this personality quiz which is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers' approach to determining personality.  Basically you are given a four letter code.

I or E - Introvert or Extrovert
S or N - Sensing or Intuition
T or F - Thinking or Feeling
J or P - Judging or Perception

These four letter give you an idea about your personality and it was erie how accurate the description of my personality was. I got INFJ, which means that I am introverted but it also said a lot about who I am as a person.  The test explained so many things about myself that I new were happening in my mind but I could never fully understand why I was thinking this way.

I've always thought I was a strange kind of introvert.  When comparing myself to my sister, who is an obvious introvert, I wasn't quite the same. She can spend hours in her room "recharging" like many introverts while I sometimes want to be out with people engaging.  If I were to describe myself I would say I'm an extrovert stuck in an introverts body.  I enjoy human interaction but it also tires me out and makes me nervous.

An INFJ is described as being introverted but often mistaken as extroverted because we genuinely are interested in other people making us fairly outgoing individuals.  However, INFJ's are only emotionally intimate with a few people and prefer to interact in smaller groups. During our interactions we can be quite charismatic and are often good at communication skills.  Sometimes INFJ's will withdraw into ourselves when we have had too much interaction with others.  This can make us seem off putting even though we just need to recharge.  We have insights into other people and are great listeners.  We are empathetic sometimes to a fault and we are deep thinkers.

This short description is just a little bit from the site but when I read it I cannot help but see myself.  I genuinely care about others and I prefer to listen rather than talk.  I enjoy the company of my close group of friends because having too many acquaintances is daunting.  What if I don't give each person enough attention?  It does take me a while to be completely comfortable with people.  I hate small talk (which is probably why I get so nervous introducing myself to others).  If I could I would skip all the small talk and head strait for the deep stuff. The stuff that makes your mind move and your heart ache.

I also have about a million things going on in my mind at any given moment but I don't say it.  It leads me to worry way to much about things I cannot control.  I also can think about a single interaction for days, weeks, sometimes it will even haunt me a year later while lying in bed at night.  I worry about how the world sees me and how I come off to those around me.  Sometimes my mind is so full of things that it hurts.  This is most often the reason that I write.

I'm also my own worst critique.  This test brought up some of the parts of my personality that I hate.  Everyone has bits of themselves that they dislike.  Sometimes it is outward and other times it is inward. I dislike the fact that I can't just go up to people and start talking to them.  For some reason it is as if there is a barrier preventing me from saying anything.  If someone doesn't initiate a conversation with me I often won't approach them no matter how much I want to talk. It makes social engagements where I know few people kind of awkward.  My greatest fear is that I will miss opportunities to get to know people.

I have some relief after taking this test.  I know that it doesn't explain everything and I'm sure there are pieces of this test that don't fit with everyone.  However, getting to know yourself is extremely important to understanding the way you interact with the world.  It is the only way you can work on pieces of yourself that bother you.

If you want to take the time to get to know yourself a little bit better then I urge you to take this test.  If anything it is fun to see what you get.

ox Caitlin


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Doctor Who: "Listen"

If you haven't watched this weeks Doctor Who episode yet you need to get on it because "Listen" was a great episode.  I may even go as far to say that it earned a spot in my list of best Doctor Who episodes.  It reminds me of the episodes of the silence or the two part episode "Silence in the Library".


What made this episode great was the creepiness factor.  Now be aware.  I don't watch scary movies and I definitely don't read horror books. (I never even opened the one Stephen King book I bought).  Doctor Who is about all the scariness that I can handle but I love it!  This episode plays on your fear of the unknown which is sometimes worse than having a real monster.  Even though people bring up the weeping angels as one of the scariest episode I find the vastra narada in "Silence in the Library" or the monster in "Midnight" more frightening because you cannot actually see the creature. This episode plays on the fact that we might never really be alone.  The monsters are hiding everywhere, we just can't see them.

This episode also shows us, once again, that Clara is a pretty awesome person.  I had an epiphany the other day and decided Clara is great in these episodes because she has faults. This new Doctor brings out her faults in the best way possible.  With Matt Smith she was the pretty plot device who was fated to save the Doctor regularly.  Now her relationship with Capaldi has changed so she is no longer just a pretty face but a spunky woman.

Now I won't say too much more because I don't want to spoil anything but I will say that this episode reveals some interesting things about the Doctor and Clara.  We get one step closer to learning about this Doctor and his past all the while doing the same timey wimey thing as always.

What did you think about this episode?

ox Caitlin

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a blog event hosted by Breaking the Spine where book lovers talk about soon to be released books that they are excited to read.


 
Goodreads | Amazon
~

Recently I came across Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield.  If 
the name sounds familiar it's because he wrote the Uglies series.  I loved the Uglies series and I'm looking forward to reading this book.  The book is going to be released next week which is pretty exciting!

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

What books are you excited to read in the next few months?

ox Caitlin 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mockingjay Trailer!

Yesterday the trailer came out for the third Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay, and if you cannot tell I am super excited!

I read the first Hunger Games book in high school.  It was probably right around the time that the books started getting popular. The series marks the beginning of my dystopian novel obsession and the books are always on my reread list (right up there with childhood favorites like Harry Potter and Narnia).

I thought the first movie was a great representation of the book. Usually, I love the book better than the movie but I can honestly say that the Hunger Games movies have been almost as good as the books.  So far, the Hunger Games movie series has succeeded in being a good adaptation.  The movie have given the story a breath of life.  They have created a depth that cannot be seen on the page. Great movie adaptations, while they may not be a perfect transcript of a novel, will add to the story in ways that the media of writing cannot.

These movies have a perfect combination of great writing and great acting that allow the story to come alive.  The right scenes are chosen and adapted for the screen so that the audience can experience the novels in a whole new way.  I hope this continues in this installment.

I do wonder why the directors decided to split this into two parts.  Clearly this will provide more profit for the movies but I hope that it gives the creators more time to draw out important areas of the plot. They could take more time for character development, which is always a good idea.

Well I think I've gushed enough.  Here is a look at the new trailer if you somehow managed to avoid it during your travels through the internet.


It just looks so awesome.  I mean they are using arrows to shoot down fighter jets! The release date for the movie is November 21, 2014.  So I know what I'll be doing over Thanksgiving break but what will you being doing?

ox Caitlin


Monday, September 15, 2014


About a month or two ago I read If I Stay, by Gayle Foreman because I knew the movie was coming out and I knew I needed to read the book now.  If I saw the movie first I would never get to the book (I don't do well with spoilers).  There were tears so I know the book was a good one.  I reviewed it on here if you want a more in depth look at my feelings.

I had pretty much forgotten the book at this point.  I didn't think it would be on my reread list and the sequel isn't on the top of my to read list.  Today, however, I might give it another chance after reading this article by the author.

You would never know by the beginning of the article that the same woman who wrote If I Stay wrote this article.  It starts out like most travel articles.  She is traveling through India while on a whirl wind tour of the world with her husband when she meets a nice local who cures her sickness.  It is only at the end that you realize who Gayle Foreman really is and where her idea for If I Stay came from.

To me this article demonstrated the healing power of writing and how taking the time to write out your feelings can help you cope with loss.  In the article Gayle describes this well.

"Mia's family...were resurrected from the ashes of my loss.  A loss that no longer had the power to sucker punch but instead had become part of me, like a scar, or maybe a smile line." 
I believe that writing has the power to relieve you from the pain of life.  As in Gayle's case, writing allowed her to give the ones she had lost a new life through her story.  This helped her cope with their loss and allowed her to move on in some ways.

Books give us all a little taste of immortality.  In the most apparent way, the author gains immortality when they leave pieces of themselves in their writing.  They will forever be known by the readers of their book.  In another way, the author can create immortal beings through their characters.  Gayle used her loved ones as molds for her characters and gave those who were gone a new life within the pages of her book (and I don't mean like Inkheart).  This is more of a knowing that her characters will always be safely tucked away in the pages of her books.  Fleshing them out was a cathartic way to preserve their memory.

So fleshing out people onto the pages of a book can be a way to heal from the trauma of loss.  When we lose someone the thing we fear most is forgetting them. By writing them into a book we preserve their memory.  We can always look back through the pages with a sad smile.

 Characters are like a carbon copy of the real life people.  Practically the same but just a little faded around the edges.  Never to be destroyed.

ox Caitlin

Friday, September 12, 2014

Vance Joy!

I have another music post for you this week.  There have just been too many good songs coming out recently and I thought I would share them.  This particular album is pretty close to my heart.

Vance Joy is an Australian band, which is probably why I found their song while in Australia.  Their song Riptide was playing in the background of a commercial.  I don't know about you but I find a lot of music from commercials. Some commercials just have the best music. This song immediately became part of the soundtrack to my entire abroad experience (along with Blurred Lines...don't ask).

Well this past week this lovely band came out with a new, full length album called Dream Your Life Away.  I've spent a week listening to the album and I can say that it is quite a good one.  They once again mix their folksy feel and great lyrics to create a great album.

If you want to take a listen for yourself here is the album. I would recommend Georgia or Mess is Mine.



ox Caitlin 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

I thought I'd post another waiting on Wednesday since last week I forgot one of the books I am most excited to read.

Waiting on Wednesday is a blog event hosted by Breaking the Spine where book lovers talk about soon to be released books that they are excited to read.

 


~

Goodread | Amazon
Today I will be talking about The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. Here
is the Goodreads synopsis. 

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

I read the first book in this series, The 5th Wave, and still today it remains one of my favorite YA dystopian novels.  I don't think I ever reviewed The 5th Wave but if you want to see the synopsis it's on Goodreads.  Basically if you like post apocalyptic novels with hunky alien boys and hostile take overs this would be a great series to pick up. 

I'm excited for some of the lose ends to be picked up in this book. Plus, being reunited with your favorite characters and worlds is one of the best things about sequels. 

What are you looking forward to reading?

ox Caitlin 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Damien Rice Song

Two posts in one day! What is happening with the world?  Procrastination that is what's happening.  I love finding new music so instead of doing my homework right now I thought I would share with you a new song I've found.  Damien Rice's My Favourite Faded Fantasy just came out on Spotify and because I actually read my email I am now obsessed with this song.



If you haven't listened to Damien Rice before and you are into more folksy, slow, and emotional music definitely check him out.  He's a little like Glen Hansard or the Cary Brothers.  This song seems to have a little bit of different vibe from his other songs he's written but I love the way it begins slow and starts to build.  There is nothing more disappointing than a song that doesn't go anywhere. This song builds perfectly.

What have you been listening to lately?

ox Caitlin

Reading Roulette

In a bit of a response to my post yesterday, maybe my first step outside my comfort zone would be to read a book that I would never just pick up.  I've been wanting to increase the number of genres I read from this year simply because I think I've gotten into a reading slump.  I feel as though I walk into a bookstore (or virtual bookstore like Amazon) and always pick up the same books with similar characters and similar characters.  When I came across this Buzzfeed post I went flipping through the books like crazy. (It gets a little addicting so be careful).  Most of the time I find you get recommendations from Goodreads based on what you have read before.  This is different because it is "Books you should read in your 20s" and has nothing to do with what you may like or dislike. 



Goodreads | Amazon
The first was Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sadaris.  Here is the Goodreads summary. 

David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section. His family is another inspiration. You Can't Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.

I have heard of this book before but I've never read it.  It's definitely out of my comfort zone simply because I rarely read outside of YA genres and most of those books are Sci-fi or fantasy.  I think I might try to pick it up.  Reading new books is a great way to increase your depth of knowledge and understand different ways of life.  It's kind of like meeting a new person for the first time and having a suddenly personal but enlightening conversation about life. (But of course there is the pleasure of doing all this in your warm bed without any social constructs). 


I encourage you to take a look at this Buzzfeed post.  If anything it is just fun to flip through the books and see what pops up.  Also if there are any books that really were out of your comfort zone I would love to hear what they are?  It's always great to find new reading material. 

ox Caitlin

Monday, September 8, 2014

Getting out of your comfort zone

My dad always sends me interesting articles while I'm at school.  Lately many of them have been about college and the future.  I think he is trying to gear me up for real adult life but still wants me to get the most out of my last year of college experience.

This weekend he sent me an interesting article from the New York Times discussing how colleges, and the world, does not push people out of their comfort zone.  Despite the fact that college is the perfect opportunity to meet tons of new people and change who you are, many students meet the same people and have the same interests as they did during high school.

Now I know the author is talking generalizations.  I'm sure there are many people who completely reinvent themselves the moment they set foot on their college campus, but I think the author makes a good point.  When I was getting ready to go abroad a speaker from the Global Education department spoke about getting out of our comfort zones.  He drew a picture very much like the one I have at the begging of this post.

Basically everyone has a comfort zone that they like to stay in because it's, well, comfortable.  It's your safe place.  Outside your comfort zone is where you start to get uncomfortable but it's perfectly alright.  You can learn and grow from the experiences you have here.  If you go beyond the second zone you get into the danger zone.  This is the place you probably don't want to go because bad things can happen, either physically or mentally it really depends upon who you are.  In order to have more fulfilling experiences you want to take some chances and aim for the middle zone.

I think many people stay in their comfort zone too often, myself included.  The author is right in saying college is the perfect time to test out boundaries and try new things.  While abroad I road in a helicopter which was completely terrifying but I was so incredibly happy I did it.  Now you don't have to do something crazy like sky diving.  Instead maybe you can try to get an internship your too afraid to apply for, take a class outside of your major, or make a plan to meet more people who are different from you. After reading this article it makes me want to take more chances even though I might be uncomfortable at first.  The results of taking chances can be gratifying and amazing!

ox Caitlin

Saturday, September 6, 2014

When Life Leaves You Gutted


I've been trying to write this for a few days.  I needed to write this down but I couldn't get the words to fit just right (if that makes any sense).  I hope this all makes sense and even if it does't it helped me get some feelings out into the open. So get ready because this post is going to get a little heavy.

Life is a funny thing.  It leaves people behind and passes people up.  It doesn't care who you love or who you hate anything can happen to anyone.  The good the bad it doesn't matter. We've seen the fragility of life in the deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers.  If you're like me, you may have felt your stomach drop when you realized Mrs. Doubtfire was gone and the fashion police would probably cease to exist.  However, recently these blows from life have come a little closer to home than I would like.

I learned just a few days ago that a person I spent a significant amount of time with last year has gotten very sick.  I haven't seen her for months and we weren't super close but it still feels strange.  She is probably the most positive person I've met and learning she was sick made me feel almost strangled. For me, the strangled feelings come from my inability to understand why some things happen.  As humans we are always looking for patterns and meaning so when something seems random, like sickness and death, we can't comprehend what life has just thrown our way.

I can tell you that I've learned that remembering the past and truly living are the most important things we can do. If a loved one is sick reach out to them and make them know that you are there for them.  It's also important to never take too many steps back because one step too far and life will be gone in a moment.

ox Caitlin

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Maze Runner Film

If you spend any time surrounded by dystopian young adult fiction, or a television with cable at this point, then you probably know that The Maze Runner is coming out on film on September 19.  I am pretty pumped about this movie.  Part of this is because I loved the series by James Dashner and the other part is that I barely remember what happened.  I hope the movie will jog my memory on the plot.

Here is the trailer if you haven't had the pleasure of seeing it or reading the series.  From the trailer it looks like it's going to be a pretty good movie.  It seems to capture the darker bits of the series well but we'll see when it actually comes out.



I don't think I ever actually posted a review of The Maze Runner on here (I probably read it in the pre-blog days) but after shuffling through pages of reviews I found I have written a review of The Death Curewhich is the third installment of the series.  While most of the series is a bit jumbled in my mind, I do remember the world building was fantastic and the characters were well developed.  The first book was full of mystery and action that kept me captivated and I hope the movie reflects the book.

Are there any movies you are looking forward to seeing?

ox Caitlin


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

This is my first time writing a Waiting on Wednesday post but I have a book that I want to talk about and it just so happens to be Wednesday so here it goes.

Waiting on Wednesday is a book blog event hosted by Breaking the Spine where book enthusiasts talk about the books they cannot wait to be released.

~

Today I'm going to talk about Rooms by Lauren Oliver.  


Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance. 

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. 

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.


This books is set to be published on September 23, 2014 and I cannot wait.  I have read and enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Delirium series and I hope I will enjoy this books.  It's a little different from what is currently on my bookshelf but I'm very excited to get my hands on this book.  

What is on your waiting list?

ox Caitlin  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Watkin's Glen

School is back in session.  Today was my first day but I thought I'd show a little bit of my last days of summer.  My parents decided to stick around for a few days after they dropped me off at school last week. Up until this summer I haven't totally explored the region around my school (which is actually kind of sad when you think about it).  We decided to head down to Watkin's Glen at the southern tip of Seneca lake.  I think the pictures say it better than I will but it was a beautiful walk.




I thought this spot was especially gorgeous (even though we did get a little wet going under that waterfall).  The water created this curtain over the path.




The rocky walls were covered in pretty little flowers and a ton of moss and lichen. The place reminded me of walking through the rainforests in Australia and New Zealand.  It was the first time I've seen greenery like that in a while.


At one point we came out into this cemetery. I know some people are creeped out by cemeteries but as long as it's daytime I find them pretty peaceful places.  This one was especially lovely, as it was near the gorge and the forest surrounding it was super lush.


While there I took this photo of these doors.  My mom is an artist and recently her pinterest page has been covered in cool doors.  I think these once lead to an old mausoleum.  Even though they are a bit rusted I think they're such unique doors.

After walking through the gorge we sat down for some yummy sandwiches at the Glen Mountain Market.  The place is pretty small but the sandwiches were the perfect meal after a hike.  They also had a ton of baked sweets.

I would encourage anyone heading through the finger lakes region to check out Watkin's Glen. Although I would hike the gorge before you go on your wine tour to avoid any spills (eek!).  The rocks tended to be slippery.  If your not going to be in the Finger Lakes region, I would still encourage you to get out while the weather still beautiful.  Ever since returning from abroad I've been trying to take advantage of the area around me.  As a college student it's sometimes hard to get out and see the area around campus but I urge you to try.  I wish I had taken more advantage of the Finger Lakes region now that I'm a senior.

So get out and enjoy the world these next few weeks.  Be a tourist in your home town.  You won't regret it!

ox Caitlin

Monday, September 1, 2014

Raindrops on Roses and other August Favorites

I cannot believe it's the end of August.  School is right around the corner and I'm excited to start but I cannot deny that I'm going to miss these warm days.  Last year I had almost six months of summer because I was in Australia for the fall and beginning of winter.  I was seriously spoiled last year. Anyway I thought I would share some of the books, music, and other things that I have been loving this summer.

Reads!


Cinder was my favorite book I read this summer. If you want to hear me gush about it you can read my review here.  If you love Cinderella stories (and who doesn't really?) and a little sci fi this book is for you.  As a recap I also read Unwind by Neal Shusterman and The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson this month.  I'm currently reading The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmburg which is turning out to be a good read as well.

Tunes!

Finding new music is like my drug.  I love hunting for new music almost as much as I love listening to my favorite songs.  I have the habit of listening to a song on repeat until I am so tired of the song. Spotify has been my go to music player.  I'm a junkie.  I've been using the online music player for years and it's bad because I've always had gift cards for the premium version...until a few months ago.  I tried for two solid weeks to be okay with the free version but I cracked. Once you have the premium version the free version is just not as good.  Now I use their student discount, which means I pay $4.99 per month.  Not bad, considering the regular price is $9.99 per month.

          

This summer I've been listening to The National religiously.  I love their melancholy vibe and the main singers voice is super deep and calming.  Graceless is my favorite song from their newest album. They're a little like Bon Iver but with more of a beat.  

Blogs

I've been much more active on Bloglovin lately and there have been a few blogs that I've been loving lately.  You can literally find a blog for anything you love.  If I'm looking for a new book I can find a bookblog and if I want to

The first is Between Dreams.  While she hasn't written much lately I loved some of her original posts.  They are inspiring for anyone writing, or for life in general. I hope she continues to post soon!

The second is a long time favorite and many of you probably know the ladies over at A Beautiful Mess.  They always have great DIY projects (even though I'm crap at DIY projects) and recipes. (Check out this creamy pea and fresh herb fettuccini!)

Others



Now I know I don't post a ton of fashion or beauty stuff on here but what the heck.  I'm a closeted shoe a-holic so I might as well post what I love.  Converse have always been super comfy in my opinion. I went a little out of the box and got the high tops but I love them and think they'll be a great addition to the wardrobe.  

What have you been loving this month? I'd love to know!

ox Caitlin


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Take Me Back to a Sunburned Country


One year ago I was headed to Boston to set off on the most amazing experience of my life.  Now that it's been a year I can say that I miss Australia more than ever.  It's normal to miss your abroad experience.  I never thought that I would miss my abroad experience more than I miss my own home.

Missing your abroad experience is more than missing the country itself.  It's missing the experience as a whole.  I went abroad with a group of people from my University and I stayed in a home stay.  Never again will I experience Australia with those same people again.  I will never spend days in the outback playing charades with my classmates or swimming around the great barrier reef with my professors and Australian professors by my side. I will never return to those specific moments with those specific people and that is a sad feeling.  There are times that I miss being abroad with people so much it hurts.

So if you're headed for an abroad experience this semester take the time to truly enjoy the experience because never again will you be in those exact moments with those people.  Try to remember small things like the bus ride home or the smell of your home stay.  Make sure you remember the moments when you spent bonding with your abroad friends over the experience.

I've never been in love but sometimes I think leaving my Australia experience was like falling out of love with someone.  It's painful because nothing will be the same but you cannot help remember the great moments with a smile on your face.

ox Caitlin

P.S.  I'll leave this little song here as a little piece of my Australian experience.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Goodreads | Amazon
I just finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.  It's the end of summer and I had to give my sister her kindle back.  (I've commandeered it for about a month now).  So I had to finish the story which wasn't difficult because it was a good story.  

The Girl of Fire and Thorns follows the life of Elisa, the second born daughter of the king who lives a relatively uneventful life. Her sister is always been destined to be queen and is always been the strong smart one.  But despite feeling like she doesn't deserve it, Elisa is blessed with the gift of the god stone.  It sits in her belly button and means that she has great powers that can be unlocked when the time is right.  This is why she is married off to the neighboring king, Alejandro, and why her life is in danger.  She soon learns she is the only hope of a kingdom in great peril and goes on a great adventure to help those in need.  But is Elisa strong enough to be the hero that the people need?

I decided to read this because I was ready for some high fantasy. I wanted something with a little magic and a lot of adventure.  I am happy about my decision.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, was a good read because of the characterization of Elisa.  Elisa is not your typical heroine.  She isn't destined to be queen and doesn't feel she deserves the power that the god stone gives the bearer.  She also makes multiple references to her weight.  While sometimes I felt these references were overdone I do think it is refreshing to have a heroine with a slightly larger figure.  Girls need better role models that show us that strength comes from within.

I thought the world building was well done.  I had a clear picture of what the world looked like and where Elisa was heading.  Because the major conflict was a war I think it's interesting to know the geography and set up of the world.  The faith of the characters was another interesting aspect and I think Carson presents their beliefs well.  By developing her characters' beliefs she creates a world with more depth.

The pacing was a little disappointing.  I often felt the plot was rushed or too drawn out.  This left me feeling bogged down or too rushed.  I also found the romance to be distracting and a little forced.  While I love having a little romance in my novels it almost seemed as if Carson added the romance just to have it.  In Young Adult novels romance is almost expected so I understand why the romance in the novel was included but I just wish it was more seamless.

This book is great if you are looking for a new fantasy series.  It reminded me a little of the book Graceling by Kristen Cashore, which is a book I love.  While I wouldn't say I liked this book as much it was a great book to end the summer with.

ox Caitlin