Sunday, 29 March 2015

march favourites

My ice cream decided to grow a fluffy beard :O 

... no not that time of the month... :P


To be completely honest, I wasn't going to write this post because I couldn't really think of anything to write about. This month has whizzed past, full of tests, assignments, homework and school ... but I didn't want to break a tradition that had barely started! So let's go :D

1. Hand cream
I have rather dry skin... so this little tube I got for my birthday this year is AMAZING because
a) It smells nice
b) It's moisturising

What more could you ask for :")

2. Pill pen
Random pen I bought for about 50c at a dingy little shop. Not the best of quality of course, but perfect for chucking into a bag for where ever you're going, because I'm ALWAYS finding myself in need for a pen.

3. Knitting!
My mum taught me how to knit when I was 9, and to be completely honest I've always been pretty terrible at it. I remember I would drop stitches ALL THE TIME and every time I attempted to make a scarf (the easiest thing to make, because I wasn't good enough to make anything else), it would end up with so many holes in it that my mum would force me to unravel it all and start again.

Which is why I've been using the exact same ball of wool for... 6 years...

But a while ago I was inspired by this tutorial to make a little bunny, and it kind of worked! :D

Oh, and I also taught Judy how to knit as well yaaaay ^_^


4. Aqua S soft serve ice cream
This shop is a relatively new one in Sydney, but it sells its signature sea salt ice cream along with new flavours every 2 weeks. This was my second time going, and I had creaming soda x sea salt which equaled DELICIOUSNESS! The sweetness and saltiness balanced evenly into a delectable (and rather large... I couldn't finish it :c ) dessert :D Oh and it offers fairy floss as a topping... so basically it's the most photogenic ice cream ever xD

March Moments

Anything exciting?
FOUR MORE DAYS OF SCHOOL UNTIL THE EASTER HOLIDAYS! It's also the last 4 days of wearing our junior summer uniform (because, yup, us Australians have to wear a uniform to school xD) and I have to admit, going to miss that school dress :")

But on other news, I take German as a subject at school and I've been emailing with a German pen pal which is good fun ^_^ Admittedly, Google Translate has been a great assistant for these emails hehe ...

Credits to original artists of album covers.

Listening to:
Read All About It Pt III - Emeli Sande
This was a favourite of mine for a long time, but recently one of my friend's has been listening to in non-stop, which led me to loving it all over again :)

Rise - Glee Cast
For all you non-Gleeks, this song was written by one of the actors on Glee, Darren Criss! He's AWESOME and even if you don't watch this show, you should still definitely listen to the song :P

Hold Back the River - James Bay
A song that's been stuck in my head for a while now T_T

Shots - Imagine Dragons
Loving their most recent album!

Goal for April:
Organise my life! xD By that, I mean doing all my assignments during the whole holidays, instead of just on the last 2 days.

Loved anything this month? Let me know what they were down in the comments :)

Lena xx

Sunday, 22 March 2015

recent reads || march

Hello again!

Nineteen Minutes - Jodie Picoult ★★★★☆
Nineteen Minutes is one of those compelling books that make you really feel and empathize over the characters. It is a story about a victim of bullying, and how that dramatically changes his life and the lives of others.

Lord of the Flies - William Golding ★★★★☆
As you may or may not know, Lord of the Flies is commonly used as a novel-study book for students in high school. I have been wanting to read this novel for years, but never got the time to go find and borrow it (so I resolved to reading the plot on Wiki. Shhh) Anyway, I finally got the chance to read it, and yep - it was as good as I thought it would be. I found that the book itself would have been harder to follow and understand if it weren't for the help of Wiki's plot summary, but that may just be me skipping huge paragraphs of description and going straight for the dialogue...

The Happy Prince and Other Stories - Oscar Wilde ★★★★☆
This is one of the best and cutest collection of short stories I have ever read! Each story from the collection is well-written, I find classics quite hard to read, mainly because of the huge amounts of description and abundant use of olden language, but the stories in this book were surprisingly great! This book is great for reading before bed or during a short break, and of course, it is written by the wonderful Oscar Wilde whom we've all heard fabulous quotes from.

All The Bright Places - Jennifer Niven
I have yet to finish this book, but so far, so good. I'm finding the storyline to be very interesting, and I must say that it reminds me of John Green's books! I'm in love with the cover art as well (argh so cute!)

Anyway, that's a wrap for another monthly book-tastic post. I'll see you next time, have fun and take care!

"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
- Oscar Wilde

~ Judy x

Sunday, 15 March 2015

cooking for those who can't: yogurt pancakes

I admit, I suck at cooking.

I think it's because I have a slight OCD when sticky things touch my hands, so if I cook, I find myself washing my hands every 2 minutes. I'm also terrified of things that could go wrong. Also I'm rather lazy, and hate cleaning up :P

Well, today I decided to give cooking a go, and I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of myself for the end result. This was probably the very first time I've cooked anything without anyone's help, and even though it didn't taste spectacular or anything, it was good fun :D

So if you're like me and cannot cook for the life of yourselves, I strongly encourage you to give it a go. Start with something super simple, like these pancakes!

I had some left over strawberry yogurt at the bottom of these container, so I simply cracked an egg into it, and mixed it up. This is a great solution if you're lazy like me, as at the end you won't have to clean the container, you can just chuck it away. For a healthier option, you can use Greek yogurt and chop some real fresh fruit pieces in, buuuut I didn't have any :P

It's more fun to use yogurt with real fruit pieces inside, as when you bite into your pancakes you can see and taste all the colourful little pieces.
Then, I poured half a cup of plain flower into the mixture, and a pinch of baking soda. I admit, I spent a LONG time looking for that pesky baking soda...

Mix this all up and pour it into a heated pan on a stove. Because I'm new to this cooking thing, I put my stove on the lowest temperature to avoid burning stuff. After realising I would be waiting for the next 10 years for it to cook, I eventually turned it a bit higher.

I used a spoon to flip them once they were golden brown, and after cooking both sides I was done!

I would probably serve this with honey and more fruits, but I had run out of those, so I just used a bit of Nutella and chopped up a banana.

Again, too lazy to clean a chopping board or a plate, so I just peeled a side of the banana and used the skin as a chopping board xD
And that's it! Super simple and a good healthy breakfast option, that's easy to make.

Let me know if you do actually try these (that would be pretty awesome), or what you like to eat for breakfast. :D

Stay fabulous! :P
Lena xx

Sunday, 8 March 2015

iphone photography || 5 tips 'n tricks


So... I was originally going to just post a bunch of photos but thought, hey, why not make it more useful and helpful? (Just putting it out there, I am not great at photography, but I thought this would just be a fun post to do!)

These pictures were all taken with an iPhone 5, using the default built-in camera as opposed to the Nikon point-and-shoot camera I usually use for photos on this blog.

1. Shoot from an interesting angle. 
Get down low with the subject or take from above. Photographing from several angles can really make a difference to the picture.

2. Focus on a particular part of the picture.
This may not apply to all photos, but keeping the focus on the main feature captures the attention of the viewer and also adds to the depth of field.

3. Do not zoom with the camera but move closer to the subject instead. 
Zooming in with the camera loses heaps of the quality and makes the photo grainy and pixelated. If you want a good photo of something, walk up to it instead.

4. Shoot in natural light
One of the best photo-enhancing tips out there is to shoot with natural light. In my opinion, you should never use flash as it distorts the natural brightness and colours of the photo.

5. Keep it simple
Sometimes, it's better to keep things nice and simple. After all, less is more :)

I hope this was helpful, or if not, enjoyable! If you have any more tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Stay fabulous!
Judy x

Sunday, 1 March 2015

recent reads || february

Hey there, welcome to March!

I'm currently munching on a nectarine, what about you? :)

As usual, monthly round up of some books I've read and (hopefully) enjoyed over the past few months! :)

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky ★★★★★
I'm trying to imagine what I looked like when I completed this book. Tears streaming down face, hiding in the dark corner of a bedroom in the flat I was staying at in China, perched on the smallest wooden stool and clutching my phone from which I was reading it from. Yup, that sounds pretty realistic. Right after I had a moment of dwelling in my own thoughts, I quickly typed in a super long message to my friend and fellow book lover Annie, and here's what I wrote...

Do you know that feeling after you finish a really really really good book and you're happy because it was amazing but you're sad because you're never going to experience that initial sense of happiness from when you first read it?

That basically summed up my feelings for this book, and I hope to read it again in the future.

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle ★★★★☆
I received this book as a Christmas present last year, and was super excited to read it. This book is a collection of three stories, each by a different author, however all taking place in the same setting and with connected characters. The first was the usual mushy cute love story, the second was hilarious, involving cheerleaders, waffles and sarcasm, and the third (not quite as great as the first two in my opinion) involved a slightly annoying girl and a tea cup pig, which made up for it. 

P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern ★★★★☆
Another one of those books where you know it'll be sad and know what to expect, but you're still drowning in tears anyway. 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes ★★★★★
This book was heart warming yet heart breaking. As you watched the worlds of Lou and Will intertwine, you realise that these two seemingly opposites combine to form the most beautiful bond. Warning: This book still leaves you crying waterfalls the size of Mount Everest.

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover ★★★★☆
Just a random little comtemporary/chicklit sort of book, but the male main character, Ridge, is deaf. To make it even more interesting, he is incredibly talented in music. Kind of sounds like Beethoven.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham ★★★☆☆
To be completely honest, I'm not entirely sure why this book has so many raving reviews. Or more importantly, why this book had so many stamps in the back cover, each dating a borrow of the book from my school library. The dates went all the way back to 2008, the pages were browning and curled at the edges, the cover was old and worn down- you could easily tell that this was a pretty popular book. I liked it, and it definitely ended with a lot of feels where you uncontrollably sob over the tragedies of life. However, I developed a disliking for the main character Tessa. I get that she's going to die, and that she has cancer. I get that she wants to complete a few things before her time runs out. And I get that she'll inevitably have a few emotional moments. But I don't understand why she has to be so hostile and mean to... well, almost everyone. Especially to her family, and to her father. I liked the storyline for this book, but I don't think I would've liked to be Tessa's friend in real life.

♥ ♥ ♥

On an entirely unrelated note, I got a kitten yesterday! Just wanted to mark this occasion so I can remember it :) He (I think it's a he... previous owner didn't know...) is about 2 months old and at first HATED ME but now he's the most adorable thing ever :D ♡ I've never owned a cat before, so I'm super excited to see him grow up ^_^ He's a little black cat, so kind of hard to get good pictures because it just turns out looking like a furry blob of a shadow.

Something random I learnt off Wikipedia: black cats fur turn orangey-brown in sunlight, which is called 'rusting' which explains why he looks a bit brown xD

That's it for now,
Lena xx