Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stupid Nasty Mondays

Believe it or not, I’ve been working on this post since the beginning of July. It was actually Sunday, and my first legit day off in about five days. I was catching up on my blog reading, and read a post called “A Case of the Mondays”. Now, I’m a college student, and I understand the difficulty of getting up on Monday after a weekend of late nights and partying. It sucks. Especially if you have an 8 or 9am class like I do. They’re typically my “sweat days” where I slip on a pair of sweats and a sweatshirt, pull my hair into a pony, and schluff off to class. That’s when inspiration hit me. What can I do to make Mondays seem a little bit better? Or make it look like I’m wide awake and ready to go when I really just want to crawl back under the covers until lunch?

So, this Monday idea started nagging at me, and once I have an idea, my OCD rears its ugly head and won’t let me stop dwelling on it until I take care of it. So, there I sat typing, typing, typing. The only reason I didn’t post this straight away was because it was summer, and it seemed redundant to post a school-themed article when no one was in school. Now finally, it’s here! Whoo!

So here follows some tips on how to survive a Monday:

1. Get Some Sleep:
It’s rather well-known that it’s recommended for most adults to get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Personally, I get maybe 4 or 5, 6 if I’m lucky. My fellow college students probably have the same inane sleep schedule that I do: go to bed at 3, 4 in the morning every night, and get up the next day a half hour before class starts. Terrible, I know, but true. My advice here is to get as much sleep as you can. Go to bed earlier on Sunday night than you would on Friday or Saturday. Believe me, an extra hour or two truly makes a difference in your ability to get out of bed.

2. Wash Your Face:
If you’re not a morning-shower person (I am not!), simply wipe your face with a cool, clean wet washcloth. The cool water will awaken your senses and jumpstart your alertness. Plus, it’ll remove any oil build up from the night before.

3. Simple Makeup for a Wide Awake Look:
If you’re simply not in the mood for full-face makeup or don’t have time, fear not. Taking a few essential things can really transform you into a bright, alert student. A healthy appearance is key. (1) Take your regular concealor and apply it to your undereyes to hide any dark circles and then apply to any areas of your face that have acne or discoloration. An even skin tone will make you look healthy and fresh. You can also add a face powder to further create a smooth appearance. (2) Use your concealor on your eyelids—this will fix any darkness and make your eyes appear brighter. You can also use an eye shadow that’s a shade or two lighter than your natural skin tone. (3) Apply a white eyeliner to your water line and tear duct; this will make your eyes appear wider and more awake. (4) Curl your eyelashes and use your favorite mascara. This instantly makes your eyes seem wider, plus it’s naturally pretty. (5) Use a bright pink blush on the apples of your cheeks to give yourself a healthy, rosy glow. (6, optional) Apply a neutral, super shiny lipgloss. Added shine will make your lips seem fuller and healthier.

4. Pull Your Hair Back:
When I wake up at 7:30 on a Monday, the last thing I want to do is mess with my hair (sometimes I don’t even feel like brushing it. Shh, don’t tell anyone!). Instead of putting it up in a messy ponytail, do a half-up style or a simple side braid. Pulling your hair out of your face will make you appear alert, focused, and a lot more put together.

5. Pre-Plan Your Outfit:
I know that when I’m running on 4 hours of sleep, I don’t feel like dressing cute. The good ol’ sweats and sweatshirt fly out of the closet and I’m good to go (hey at least they aren’t pajama pants!). After all, I can just change after class, right? Well, in order to avoid the just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-went-to-class look, plan your outfit the night before. Pick out your clothes, shoes, even accessories Sunday night and lay them out on your desk chair. This way, you can get dressed while still being half asleep and still look great!

6. Eat Something:
Now I’m one of those people who never eat breakfast. Believe me, I consider a Coke Zero breakfast. But, I’ve found that just eating an apple or banana can give you a bit of a boost in the energy department. Plus, eating breakfast will jumpstart your metabolism. If you’re a caffeine addict like me, nab your favorite soda or a cup of java to get that caffeine rush you know you need. You do need to eat/drink something before you head to class or even in class if its permitted. After all, a car can’t run without fuel (terrible cliché, I know).

7. Pop Some Mints or Gum:
Mint has natural cooling properties, which will invigorate your mouth, causing you to wake up a bit more. Plus, gum will help clean off some of last night’s plaque build-up, giving you a freshly brushed feeling.

8. Listen to Music:
Turn on that iPod! Music will help your brain get moving, and you’ll feel less drowsy. Instead of just jumping to some heavy metal with the volume on full blast, gradually work your way up to it. Start with something calming, then add to the energy level of each following song. By gradually increasing the tempo and volume of your playlist, you’ll be giving your body time to adjust, instead of shocking it with stimuli overload.

I hope these tips are helpful to anyone. They have been tried and tested by yours truly, and are the main reasons I survived Mondays last year.

What are your “wake up” tips?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Quick Update 8/16

Hey everyone! I'm sorry for my recent absentee-ism. Its the end of the summer, and many of the college kids are leaving for school. For me, this means extra days working at the pool to fill their slots (my college doesn't start school til September!) So I've been working pretty much nonstop for the past week--2 days off in the past 12 days!
So work has taken up all my daylight hours. Unfortunately, by the time I get home, eat, and shower (or shower and eat), I'm so exhausted I can't do anything but lay there.

I'm also preparing to move into my new apartment with some college friends, so posts are going to be rather sporadic for a couple weeks, but I will work on that.

I will try to get some new posts up soon. I have some school-related things planned, though I know some people have already started school. I also am considering doing an everyday makeup look, and a skincare routine. And there are lots more movie reviews and other movie related posts coming, too. My sister and I are also working on a project that I will tell you guys about later!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wonka Bars *Nom Nom*

While renting movies at my local video store, I peered into the candy display and saw these lovely puppies, scrumdiddliumptious Wonka bars!! They had quite a few of these, but I just decided on two: Chocolate Waterfall (white and milk chocolate swirled together) and Fantabulous Fudge (milk chocolate with a gooey fudge filling).

They taste super duper good, and the wrappers are soooo pretty!!

You can check out more on the Wonka website:

Delicious Food Stuffs

So, a few weeks ago, my family went out of town for my uncle's wedding. I unfortunately couldn't go because of work stuff, so I was stuck at home :( And because they were gone, I was left to fend for myself foodwise. One day, while checking out foodgawker (great great website!!!) I came across this link for Cherry Coke and Jalepeno Meatballs--sounds weird I know, but soo delicious! Link here.

I did change the recipe a bit: I used ready-made meatballs and I skipped the jalepenos (peppers, yeck!), but the meatballs themselves were a little spicy already so it all worked out.

Yum Yum!

I also decided to make cake pops for dessert. If you don't know what cake pops are, they're basically brownies covered in chocolate, rolled around on some sort of topping, and on a stick. I followed the recipe video that AprilAthena7 posted (click here).

Instead of making rocky road ones, I just covered them in smashed up Oreos. Plus, mine were a little too heavy for the sticks I bought, so they just turned into brownie cakes :)

I also had some left over chocolate, so I decided to make some chocolate covered potato chips (Yes, potato chips).

Close up!

I also made a chocolate covered banana, which I stuck in the freezer for a few hours (delicious!)

I'm definitely gonna have to make all of this again sometime. Let me know if you try anything out!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Australia (2008)

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, & David Wenham
Rated PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language

I have to say, I love this movie! I think its probably one of the best romance movies that's been released in recent memory, plus it has quite a bit of action that will appeal to the man in your life. So grab your sweetie, and read on.

Here's the plot:
"In northern Australia at the beginning of World War II, an English aristocrat inherits a cattle station after her husband is murdered. When an Australian cattle baron plots to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man, known only as the Drover, to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces." (from Internet Movie Database)

So, I love love this movie. It gives you the passion of a romance, the bite of an action flick, and the richness of a period film. Hugh Jackman is amazing. We finally get to hear his native accent, albeit it is tinged with the growl-iness of Wolverine, but is nonetheless divine. He's perfect as the bitter, disillusioned, independent Drover, who still has a soft heart and a vulnerability that balances out his arrogance. Nicole Kidman is the cold-proper-English-Lady-turned-passionate-heroine who always does what she hopes is the right thing. Personally, I think she has no facial expression and that her way of showing any emotion is by widening her eyes, but otherwise, she does very well.

We get to see another side to actor David Wenham. You may remember him as Faramir from Lord of the Rings. Ring a bell? Well, he usually plays well-meaning good guys, but in this film, he is the quintissential slimy, sleazy bad guy with one hell of an accent. We are also introduced to Brandon Walters, a kid with easily the most beautiful brown eyes I've ever seen!

He's absolutely adorable!

The movie shows all the different aspects of Australia. We get to see the red, barren North lands, the lushness of a billabong, the dry heat of the Never-Never desert, and the jungle of the mission island. The 40s are stylish and well represented, including the prejudices still held between blacks and whites and Australia's forced assimilation of Aboriginal children.

I admit, I had tears in my eyes on various occasions. You'd have to have a heart of stone to not feel something with this film. While it may run a little long (2.45 hours!), it still is a joy to watch time and time again.

Happy watching!!!

For more info, check out the IMDb page:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Preview: The Avengers (2012)

I have a feeling that one of 2012's biggest movies is going to be The Avengers, a film about a team made up of some of the world's greatest superheroes: Captain America, Iron Man, the Black Widow, Thor, the Hulk, and Hawkeye. (If you're unfamiliar with the Avengers, think of the Justice League with Superman and Batman. The Justice League is made up of DC Comics heroes, while the Avengers are Marvel Comics heroes, but the same basic concept.)

The movie will star all the original actors for each character. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Evans is Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Hemsworth is Thor, and Scarlett Johansson is Natasha Romanov/Black Widow. Joining the Avengers are Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye (you'll remember Renner from the Hurt Locker, the Town, and S.W.A.T.) and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Also appearing in the film are Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts, Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, Paul Bettany's Jarvis, and Tom Hiddleton's Loki (from Thor).

Here's a link to an absolutely amazing fan-made trailer I found on YouTube. Pure epicness!!

I personally cannot wait for this movie to come out. I love the character of Tony Stark (Iron Man), and I really enjoyed Captain America. I've always found superhero movies to be enjoyable, maybe because they're timeless. The characters pass down from generation to generation, making the films enjoyable to all.

Ahh, I'm so excited!!!

For more info, check out the IMDb page:

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Directed by: Joe Johnston
Stars: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, & Hayley Atwell
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action

I literally saw this about four hours ago, and I thought I'd review while its still fresh in my mind. This will be a nice break from my recent spew of horror flicks. :)

Here is the plot synopsis:

"It is 1942, America has entered World War II, and sickly but determined Steve Rogers (Evans)is frustrated at being rejected yet again for military service. Everything changes when Dr. Erksine recruits him for the secret Project Rebirth. Proving his extraordinary courage, wits and conscience, Rogers undergoes the experiment and his weak body is suddenly enhanced into the maximum human potential. When Dr. Erksine is assassinated by an agent of Nazi Germany's secret HYDRA research department, Johann Schmidt aka the Red Skull (aka Weaving), Rogers is left as a unique man who is initially misused as a propaganda mascot. However, when his comrades need him, Rogers goes on a successful adventure that truly makes him Captain America and his war against Schmidt begins." (from Internet Movie Database)

I have to say, I quite enjoyed this movie. I loved Chris Evan's character--the weak man with a heart of gold, a man completely willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his country and his fellow men. There wasn't a whole lot of character development in this film, but it usually takes a franchise to build a character (ex. Spiderman, Batman, etc etc).

The story is well written and the action sequences are "freakin' awesome" in the words of my younger brother. The setting of 1940s New York is spot on, along with the sequences in war-torn Europe. The film had an overall comic-book-chic to it, if that makes sense. Everything was era correct, but had a sort of crisp, cleanliness to it that reminded me of a comic book. The only moments that broke the timeline were areas with advanced technology, stuff that we don't even have today, let alone in the 40s.

One of the things that made me really happy with this film is the tie-in with the other "Avengers". A main character is Howard Stark, who you may remember is the father of Tony Stark aka Iron Man. We also get to see Nick Fury, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., who we meet at the end of Iron Man (end of the credits). Although this is the "First Avenger," its actually the last film before next year's release of The Avengers (more soon!).

Overall, I thought the film was really good. Chris Evans is phenomenal, and I am convinced that Hugo Weaving is Hollywood's ultimate typecast villian. This is a great film if you're already a fan of the Marvel films (or comics) or superheroes in general. Its a good summer action flick, and its made me super excited to see The Avengers next spring.

Happy watching!!!!

For more info, check out the IMDb page: