Monday, 31 March 2014


Today is my brother's birthday, so as a special treat, I got him to pick a design for me to put on cupcakes.

I'm not gonna lie, when he showed me the pattern, it looked like a lot of detail and I was a little nervous about it at first.

Once I got going on the design, adding my own flair in some places, I realized it was fairly easy!

Personally, I think the colour scheme is quite elegant - the pale blue looks lovely over the dark brown of the icing.

Another great thing about these is that the cake mix is from a box, as is the chocolate icing (I made the pale blue icing). They're so simple and great if you're in a rush. The only time-consuming part of these is the decorating, but that's absolutely worth the time.

I really love how these cupcakes turned out.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

"Attack on Titan" | Book Review

 As you may have seen a few days ago, this month's Loot Crate came with a copy of Attack on Titan, Volume 1. I read it today!

The story takes place in the future, when the human race has been massacred by the titans; the survivors live in fear in a walled city, and must fend off the titans, including the colossus titan.

This is a cool concept. It kind of feeds (pun intended) off of the zombie genre we seem to be so interested in these days, but Attack on Titan gives its villains their own unique twist. The city's layout is really well planned out - I'm impressed by the thought that went into designing it.

The story held my interest throughout; it's compelling, I want to know if and how they'll defeat the titans. The writing gets you attached to the characters whom, by the way, the writer is not afraid to kill!

I'm going to give the anime a watch as well, as my sister really enjoys it.

Have you read or seen Attack on Titan? What did you think of it?

Friday, 21 March 2014

"Sleepy Hollow" | Book Review

I finished reading Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow today.

The short story, published in 1820, follows Ichabod Crane through some of his time spent in the eerie Tarry Town. In this settlement there is a place called Sleepy Hollow, a place known for its hauntings. The most infamous of the ghosts is the Hessian trooper, more commonly known as the Headless Horseman.

I enjoyed this story. Throughout, there was a sense of foreboding and creepiness, which is something I value in a horror story; if I'm reading a scary story, I want to be scared or nervous or tense constantly.

What surprised me was how little we actually see of the Headless Horseman. In the onscreen adaptations (which were my only exposure to the story before I read it), the Horseman seems ever-present, terrorizing residents of the town. There were a couple of mentions of him, but it was about two thirds of the way through before Ichabod actually encountered the spectre. It was worth the wait though - once the Headless Horseman made his appearance, I was really anxious.

If you're interested in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow's film and television counterparts, I recommend reading Irving's original story; the adaptations take a lot of liberties, so you'll still read about things you never knew before!

Have you read this story?

Monday, 17 March 2014

"Wer" | Movie Review

 I watched a movie called Wer today.

The film takes place in France and stars AJ Cook as a lawyer defending a man with a rare medical condition; the man's monstrous appearance contributes to his status as number one suspect in the brutal murder of a family.

Wer held my interest all the way through, with a great story and very believable acting. I highly recommend it if you're interested in the supernatural, specifically werewolf stories.

Image Credit: This modified image by Adam B Morgan via Wikimedia Commons. This work is in the public domain.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Today was a "Brave" day | Movie Review

I watched Brave with my family today, and I was just as moved by it as the first time I saw it.

Merida is inspiring in her desire to do her own thing and be her own person, separate from the royal expectations put on her.

There are so many laugh-out-loud moments as well. I was a little surprised by how much I was laughing, I must've forgotten some of the funny moments since last time!

The movie also moved me to tears, which is admittedly not hard to do, but I always like it when a movie makes me cry. It means I identify with and feel for the characters and their stories, which I think is important in story-telling.

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you watch Brave! It's a funny, heart-warming film.

Have you seen Brave?

Saturday, 15 March 2014

"The 100" | Book Review

This book is infuriating.

This barely passes as a post-apocalyptic novel. There is hardly any talk of what the earth looks like after the nuclear winter, and after having been abandoned for 300 years. Where there was so much potential based on the premise, the pages are full of angst and idiocy.

As for the characters, they're so utterly stupid that I just want to slap them.


Wells is so obsessed with Clarke that he risks the entire human race. Are you kidding me? He makes bad decision after bad decision, and just when you think he's figured out how to be a normal human being, he goes and does another dumb thing.

Glass is so in love with Luke that it makes her completely stupid.

I think the only character I could actually tolerate was Clarke, aside from her decision to confide in Wells.

A lot of stuff just doesn't make sense. If you're running out of resources, which is why you're executing prisoners, and you just kill every prisoner on their 18th birthday, why waste resources on keeping them alive until they're 18?

In short, just don't bother with this, it's infuriating.

Toronto ComiCon!

 Today was Toronto ComiCon!

I've been to Fan Expo Canada twice in the past two years, but this was my very first time at ComiCon, which is run by Fan Expo Canada.

When I hear "ComiCon," I immediately think of San Diego ComiCon-level fandemonium. This wasn't anywhere near as crazy as that, but one can dream. Toronto ComiCon is smaller than its summer counterpart (i.e. Fan Expo), but just as much fun, in my opinion. There were still tons of booths to visit and lots of artists' work to see. Sure, there weren't as many "big" celebrities as we get at Fan Expo, but for those wanting photo ops and autographs, that means less of a lineup.

The biggest plus for me was that there weren't as many attendees at ComiCon. When I'm surrounded by hoards of people, I tend to feel a bit claustrophobic and I get really grumpy...that still happened this time, but it was definitely not as bad as Fan Expo. I liked that I was actually able to look at the jewellery and art on display in Artist Alley, some of the finds there are awesome.

We went to the panel where Sean Astin and Billy Boyd were talking, which I found quite fun. I love the Lord of the Rings film series, so it was cool to hear stories about the making of the films. The room was absolutely packed - we were afraid we weren't going to get in, but we managed to get seats in the last row.

After a long day of nerdy awesomeness, my sister and I were content but ready to go home!

The Fratellis concert!

I went to see The Fratellis with Michelle tonight!

The band hails from Scotland, and has a fantastically upbeat, indie rock vibe.

I got into their music pretty recently - Michelle is the one who introduced me to their music...thank you, Michelle!

I knew as soon as she told me about the concert that I needed to be there. And thank goodness I went, because it was amazing! The energy in that room was incredible, everyone was having fun and moving to the beat of the music.

At one point, there was a lot of crowd surfing going on - more than I've ever experienced at a concert before! - and one guy was actually able to stand on the stage. We all had a good laugh when the security guard pushed him off the stage and back into the crowd though...that sounds a lot more sadistic than it was.

After the show, the lead singer reached down to shake hands with everyone in the front row (which was us!), which I thought was a nice thing to do.

The Fratellis' concert is very high on my list of favourite concerts, and I'll definitely be seeing them the next time they're here!

Do you like The Fratellis?

Rosie's Birthday!

Rosie just turned four years old!

I honestly can't believe it, the time's gone by so quickly. She's our first dog and so we've really learned a lot with her; namely, how much a dog affects your life on so many different levels.

The most noticeable thing for me is how loving she is. She's a Golden Retriever and I know it's part of their breed, but all she wants is love. And food...and walks. But mostly love. I could probably sit on the floor with her, like I am in the picture, for an hour or two without her wanting to leave. She lies down with her head on my leg and we play a little game. And sometimes she does this cute thing when she's lying on her side where she pats at the floor; I'll pat the floor after that, and then she'll do it after me, and we continue like that for a while. I think it's adorable.

And when we go on walks (also when we feed her, of course), she's the happiest dog in the world. She sniffs almost literally everything. She's just so excited about life!

I often hear stories about dogs protecting their owners in dangerous situations. There was a time when, given her incredibly friendly nature, I doubted whether she'd actually defend us if the occasion arose. The day I knew that she would was a day when we were dog-sitting for our family friends. The family was on vacation, so we'd had their Labrador for a few days and he'd proven to be kind of a pain in the butt, as he barked a lot and didn't really listen to us. One day, we were sitting on the deck with the dogs and the lab was misbehaving, so we told him to quit doing whatever he was doing. He seemed to take offence, and started barking at us persistently. Rosie had had enough of him at this point, so she stood up and angrily barked at him once, a kind of "how dare you insult them" kind of bark. The she proceeded to chase him around the deck. I have never seen her run so fast - he must have really been mouthing off about us. She stopped when she thought he understood the message, and he was a bit more submissive after that. Seeing her defend us like that was a really cool moment for me; it was a sort of validation, like "wow, we really have done a good job of raising her, and she loves us." I've never been prouder of her!

As a family we've also learned how much work having a dog is. Obviously before we got her, we knew we were in for a ton of work and training, but it still caught us off guard. Potty training a puppy was certainly more than I bargained for. After two hours of sleep, my mom and I would wake up to the sound of puppy-Rosie howling, only to find that her crate had been turned into a literal shit-storm. So while I cleaned the crate, my mom gave her a bath...only to be repeated two hours later! This cycle of sleeping, cleaning the crate, sleeping, then cleaning the crate before going back to sleep again, lasted several weeks. It was awful, and some days we just sat at the kitchen table and cried. It's something I never want to experience again.

We used to do day-trips sometimes, but now with Rosie, we have to carefully consider whether or not it'll work. We can't leave her for more than a couple of hours in case she needs to relieve herself. We can't go into a sit-down restaurant if we take her with us, because our day-trips were usually in the summertime and it's just wrong to leave a dog in the car during summer.

Having a dog, we've really had to change the way we go about our everyday lives, and it's honestly been a lot of work. I think before anyone gets a dog they should read all about the difficulties that come with it; a loving companion is almost a given if it's trained properly, but people should learn about all the effort that goes into that before they make their decision.

I started this just wanting to talk about how much I love my dog, but it quickly turned into a warning for potential dog owners...

I'm genuinely glad we have Rosie; she's a wonderful dog, so full of love and excitement, and I hope we have her around for a long time to come!

Marissa Meyer Book Signing!

Marissa Meyer did a book signing at a local mall today.

Personally, I haven't read any of her Lunar Chronicles series yet, but my sister loves it so I though it'd be fun to take her. We met Christine there, who's also read the series (and is actually the one who let me know about the event!).

While we were in line a few hours before the signing, Marissa came around and gave everyone pins related to the series, which I thought was a really nice gesture!

I quite enjoyed the talk she gave before the signing, where she explained NaNoWriMo's (National Novel Writing Month, for those who are wondering) role in the creation of "Cinder" and its successors. She also did a dramatic retelling of the Grimm Brothers' "Rapunzel," which was quite fitting as her most recent release, "Cress," is an adaptation of the classic fairytale.

I had a lot of fun at the signing and it just made me more excited to get started on reading Marissa's Lunar Chronicles series!

Have you ever been to a book signing? What book/author was it for?

"Pompeii" pre-screening and Review!

See image credit below
 Today I went to see a pre-screening for Pompeii, starring Kit Harington and Emily Browning. Christine won two tickets via a contest, and very kindly invited me to go with her.

I enjoyed the experience of being at a pre-screening, although there were some strange policies: while everyone was lined up, an employee came around asking for everyone's cell phones, saying if they were seen inside the theatre, they'd be confiscated. Not wanting our phones to be lost in the seemingly-random pile, we opted to say we didn't have our phones on us.

The movie itself was good for a one-time watch. It had some great action sequences, including fights and chariot chases. The acting was pretty good throughout, although something that bothered me the whole way through was that Carrie-Anne Moss, great in everything I've seen her in, had an accent in her first scene, but didn't in any of her other scenes! I couldn't help but laugh at the ending because it was incredibly cheesy, but as I said, the film was good for a one-time watch and I enjoyed the experience.

Check out Christine's blog here! If you love books, you'll probably love her blog :)

Image Credit: Lancevortex via Wikipedia in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.