2017 is Here and So am I!

2017 came storming in without so much as to ask me permission for entry. That’s the funny thing about a new year. Everyone feels all fresh, renewed, and more than prepared for the New Year. Then it hits. Maybe that’s just a me thing, but I’m going out on a limb here to assume that it’s a you thing too. Let’s just say that I am really trying to get my shit together this year, however I also didn’t plan out my New Year’s resolutions until a week after the ball dropped in New York City. So far so good, am I right?

You see, 2016 was going great, then it wasn’t. Then it ended. Not to say that the past year was all bad but I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go. However, 2017, she’s a bit of a big year. A big year for me that is, and I hope she’s an important year for all of you as well.  Twenty seventeen comes with flipping my old-age switch up another notch to twenty. I wasn’t ready to be nineteen, I’m still not ready to be nineteen and I’ve been dealing with it for the past however many months as best I can. I can’t cook. I don’t know how to file my taxes on my own. Oh, and that whole budget thing? We’re not even going to go there.

Basically I’m making this post on my previously neglected blog because I’m officially back again from my brief, unannounced hiatus. My blog still is a bit all over the place, I like to consider it a reflection of myself. This coming year expect a mish-mash of posts, stories, reviews, among a handful of other things.

I am a college degree seeking, fixing to be twenty-something, a bit lost on a good day, avid reader, aspiring author just trying to find her way through this world. I would love to build this blog this year and I’d love for y’all to hang around.

I can promise you a few well edited, well thought out blog posts in the ever nearing future. For now I just wanted to let you all know in this short unedited post, that I’m still here, still a mess, and I’m back (hopefully) for good.

Thanks for reading guys!

Morgan

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Book Review *Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead*

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Other fitting titles may include but not limited to: Harry Potter and Voldemort’s Love Child, Harry Potter and If the Trio Had Been a Duo , or Harry Potter and The Time Turner’s Unfortunate Return.

img_5668

When this play book was initially announced I was both excited and concerned. The first seven books that make up the original Harry Potter series have quite the standard to live up to and I was not sure if its success could be replicated. I was further conflicted when I realized that this was written by a writer other than J.K. Rowling. While Rowling did help co-write she was not the main captain, which made me think that this ship was gonna sink before it even left the port. However, Harry Potter fan that I am, I pushed all of that aside to welcome a chance to step back into the world I grew up loving.

The night of the release I dragged my boyfriend, and fellow Harry Potter fanatic, along to pick up the book with me and enjoy in the festivities. Unfortunately our Books-A-Million was overcrowded and not too terribly organized so really all we did was line up and watch other people get cake from some unknown location. Once I got the book and we drove home we began reading together, because sharing is caring and impatience abounds when Harry Potter is involved.

Automatically our skepticism grew as we flew through the first act. It was obvious from the start that this book was largely left up to someone else other than Rowling to write. Rowling has a way with words that just simply was not displayed in this play book. While I enjoyed this book it is by far not on par with the other Harry Potter works. I wanted to delve into a few of the pros and cons that I found in this book and examine them a bit further.

img_5667

PROS: It’s always better to start with good news first in my opinion so that is what I’m going to start with in this blog post.

To begin with the most obvious positive thing about this book is that we got a chance to revisit our favorite characters both living and deceased. We got to read another handful of snarky comments from the wonderfully savage Professor Snape. We got a chance to see our favorite trio all grown up with families of their own living the mundane life that is adulthood. Apparently even wizard adulting is boring. But the point is we got to see them again. It is like visiting an old friend, there’s so much to catch up on.

We also got a chance to meet some of the children. The main focus was on Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter, the sons of Draco and Harry respectively. I would’ve liked to see more of Rose as she is so much like her mother. But in all honesty if Rose had been in on the boys’ plan half of the crap they got themselves into wouldn’t have happened. Scorpius and Albus aren’t the brightest.

Also there is so much Romione goodness in the book that I cry. I just cry. Even when in the alternate realities that the two are not together it is so obviously clear that they are in love with one another. I am sorry but I will never not ship them. Not to mention that the scenes in which they find out they are supposed to be together were just gold. Simply gold. All of the love for those snippets.

Lastly I will say that this book is fast paced. This is partially because it is a play so plot has to be squeezed down and packed into a tiny bit of time. This is also a bit of a con because things go by quickly and we do not get to really experience each plot point in detail. However for a nice one sitting read this book is perfect. It is packed with action and is to the point.

img_5648

CONS: On to cons… this is the part where I unfortunately have to tear about a book I was honestly hoping to absolutely adore. While this story was a good guilty read and an excellent chance to return to my childhood escape it was just not… good.

To begin with it read like a fanfiction through and through. From the writing to the plot itself. It was as if someone stole J.K. Rowling’s characters and took them for a spin. Which is in all honesty is essentially what happened with this book. I found myself multiple times thinking “The fuck just happened…?” and laughing at the improbability of things unfolding as they did. It is unfortunate that this story would have better thrived on fanfiction.net than in bookstores but that is honestly how it seems.

Another thing that I noticed right away was that the characters were extremely out of character. Even in the reality that was supposed to be the true one, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny – everyone – was just acting awfully strange. While they have aged they should not be entirely new people. This was obviously written by someone who does not know the characters as their original creator does. It felt like I was reading about completely different people just pegged with the names of my favorite characters.

I know that this is a play and that the scenes are going to shift abruptly which makes it ten times harder to judge this book because it is not being consumed in its intended format. But nevertheless there were multiple times that I had to stop and reread to try and figure out why we had jumped ahead in time or place.

Going back a step I wanted to reiterate that this is a play and that the format therefore made it hard to read and understand. There are cues and such but there are no actors there delivering the script in its intended fashion. That made the dialogue sound cheesier and more stilted. I would really like to see this in play form, I feel like I would genuinely enjoy it on an entirely new level if I saw it live instead of in book form.

Also, one of the most important parts of the book, the plot, was simply a wreck. It made no sense, it was improbable, and it was in all honesty silly to begin with. Do the writers really expect us to believe that these two teenage boys are that stupid. Not to mention that time travel novels are so easy to fuck up. And well they fucked up. There were in continuities galore. The entire idea of the time turner was muddled and decidedly changed from the original Harry Potter novel in which is was talked about.

Overall this book did not feel edited in the slightest. There were simply too many plot holes and improbabilities. The wizarding world was turned on its head with the number of contradictions and scenes that did not make sense in the slightest. It was a bit of a mess. It felt thrown together as if they realized the deadline was the following day and they needed to vomit up some kind of rubbish to turn into an editor, who in turn seemed to be unaware of his job to actually fix the hell out of this sucker.

A few other things I’d like to point out:

  • Voldemort did the icky nasty. Ewwie. That is what nightmares are made of.
  • What’s the deal with the trolley witch? That was some kind of horror movie shit. Are you seriously telling me that the sweet little lady who sells chocolate frogs and Pumpkin Pasties turns into some kind of freaky weird demon shit? I am not okay with that. Nope.
  • Where is Teddy Lupin??? Questionsssss
  • How’d nobody realize that Bellatrix was just chillin preggers and such in the seventh book? Please tell me. Because I may not know a whole lot about pregnancy and babies but buy God, Bellatrix is three times the bad ass bitch if she was carrying a baby while fucking shit up as she was. Although I must say it would make sense because she was so high key into Voldy and his nasty self.
  • Hermione is Minister of Magic. Freaking Minister of Magic. She’s a fucking queen and I will forever bow down to her kick ass self.

Overall I enjoyed this book on a guilty pleasure level. Is it a great addition to the Harry Potter world? No. Not in my opinion at least. However I’ll cherish the fact that I got to once more indulge in a world that I loved so much growing up.

What were your thoughts? Did you like it, hate it, or are you still confused as to how exactly you feel about it? Share down below in the comments, I’d love to know!

July Ipsy Glam Bag

July is already here and gone which has left part of me wondering where the first six months of the year went. It seems that we are zooming through 2016 and the glam bags that come with it. Even though we are on our way into August I wanted to share with you all the products that came with my bag this past month.

This month’s glam bag was full of both exciting and less than thrilling products. I sometimes wonder if I should cancel my subscription but then I realize that the price is absolutely worth it for the few good products I get. While there may be a dud or two out of the five products that come each month there are always products I absolutely adore.

The theme of this month’s bag was Hot Summer Nights. On first glance I was not a fan of this particular bag. It looked like cheap shiny material but I have grown to kind of like it. The pattern looks like little mints sprinkled on the material of the bag. While it is still not my favorite I appreciate the variation in bags that Ipsy has offered over the months. I give this bag a 3.5/5.

The first product I pulled out of the bag was theBalm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Trimony Eyeshadow. This particular eye shadow was available in Matt Kumar and Matt Moskowitz. The former is a shade of matte cranberry and the latter a shade of matte plum. I received the Matt Kumar shade which I much prefer over the plum. This cranberry is beautiful, rich, and ultra matte. The funny thing about this particular product is the name – Matt(e) Trimony and the description Marriage Matt(e)rial. Immediately after pulling this out I burst into laughter. My boyfriend’s name is Matt and it just cracked me up that the first product I found in my Ipsy bag was all up in the commitment with the name Matt tagging along with it. Overall I was incredibly pleased with the quality of this product. I’ve been using it for my evening makeup looks. Whether it be date night or girls night it’s a beautiful shade that accentuates the eyes and with draw plenty of compliments and inquiries as to what products you used. I give this eye shadow a definite 5/5.

The second product I saw was the Eva NYC Get Glossed! Hair Serum. I was unsure about this initially because I didn’t recognize the brand but I was pleasantly surprised by both the scent and the effect that it had on my hair. It has proteins which increases the strength of your hair as well as adds shine. This product is also good for taming frizz and protecting against heat damage. I give it a 4/5, it works quite well but the sample was tiny and leaves a bit of a residue.

The third item in my bag this month was the tre’StiQue Mini Highlight Stick in Maldive Luminescent. I was extremely excited to receive this product as I have been searching for new highlighters to try out. This one is the perfect shade for my face and is not too pinky as I’ve found can sometimes be the case with other shades. The only thing that I didn’t particularly like about the stick was that because of the consistency at times it felt thick on my skin and encouraged breakouts. But overall I was definitely happy that I received this product. I just recommend you wear it on days that you won’t be spending outside in the heat of summer. I give this product a 4/5.

I also received ModelCo’s PowerLash Black Mascara. I was not nearly as thrilled with this product as I was with the others. However a mascara is a mascara and I can always use more. It’s okay quality, nothing to write home about. 3/5

The final product was a Luxie Beauty brush. Specifically the Luxie Rose Gold Small Angle Eye Brush 215. I’m getting a tad sick of getting brushes in these bags but the Luxie are good quality so hey can’t complain I suppose. 3/5 because it’s not something I wanted but it is a quality product that will get used.

Overall this bag is a solid 4/5. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite product was in your bag this past month!

 

Lost

She lost herself.

Not literally but figuratively.

She lost hereself in the night sky.

She lost herself in books and landscapes and cups of tea.

She lost herself and each time she returned to the harsh realities of her life she wished to be gone just a little bit longer.

Until finally, one day,  she never came back at all.

Face Mask Reviews

Lately, due to Ipsy if I’m being honest, I have found myself drawn to face masks. Having persistent mild acne I have had to be selective about the products that go on my face. But after trying a mud mask on a whim, I can not seem to stop trying out a variety of these masks. There is just something about siting for twenty minutes with a hardened, chances are smelly, substance on my face that is incredibly relaxing. I’ve listed out a few of the masks I’ve tried the past few weeks and given my personal opinions and experiences with each. Remember that everyone’s skin is different and therefore everyone’s skin will react differently to facial masks and washes. You should never overuse masks as they can harm your skin. If you have questions or sensitive skin I suggest you consult with your dermatologist before trying out any new products. Lastly, if you have any recommendations for masks let me know in the comments below. I love finding new products to try out.

  • Neutrogena Clean Pore Cleanser/Mask 
    • Acne fighting – contains benzoyl peroxide acne medication
    • Can be found in any drugstore, Walmart, Target, ect.
    • 5 Minute Mask
      • Pre-Mask: “I have been using Neutrogena products for a handful of years now. They are undoubtedly a quality drugstore brand so I am expecting the best with this cleansing mask. Don’t let me down Neutrogena!”
      • Mid-Mask: “Minty, fresh. I can actually feel it cleansing my pores. Its getting cold against my skin, a sensation that I definitely enjoy in a facial mask.”
      • Post-Mask: “I feel like it leaves a bit of a residue but my face feels incredibly clean so its still nice. This is definitely a product that I would use daily as a cleanser and maybe every few days as a mask since it can act as both.”
        • Rating – 4/5
  • studio35 Beauty – Deep Cleansing Mask
    • Dead sea minerals to cleans and purify your skin
    • Walgreens – 3 for $4
    • 15 Minutes or Until Dry
      • Pre-Mask: “I hope this mask hardens. Ohhhh it smells good. Very clean scent, almost minty.”
      • Mid-Mask: “It reminds me of being at a salon. Tingles but there is no burn and it still feels fresh against my skin.”
      • Post-Mask: “Very nice clean sensation. Easy to get off. No sense of left over residue from the product.”
        • Rating – 4/5
  • Jor’el Parkes’ The Original Fango Mud Therapy 
    • 100% vegan. Designed to moisturize, anti-age, exfoliate, minimize pores and lines, deep clean, decrease dark circles, and purify.
    • Received in Ipsy bag
    • 5 Minute Mask
      • Pre-Mask: “Damn bae. This sucker is supposed to do it all. That is concerning though. Everyone knows one product can not actually fix everything. I’m surprised it doesn’t also advertise saving the animals, curing cancer, and ending world hunger. Seriously though a mud mask? Let’s do this.”
      • Mid-Mask: “It smells funny. And it’s green. Kinda tingles, not sure if that is good or bad if I’m being honest. I could rock this green monster look, just saying. It’s stiff AF.”
      • Post-Mask: “It feels okay but it makes my skin really red. I think it may be to strong or harsh for my skin type.”
        • Rating – 2/5
  • studio35 Beauty – Facial Brightening Sheet
    • Fruit Enzymes and Bamboo Extract
    • Soothes and Illuminates. Helps to restore natural balance.
    • Walgreen’s 3 for $4
    • 10 Minute Mask
      • Pre-Mask: “I’ve never tried a sheet mask so this should be interesting. I’m thinking that it will be fruity scented and relaxing. Hopefully I don’t mess it up!”
      • Mid-Mask: “A bit weird to put on. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to face sheet masks. Very rejuvenating. I look like an antagonist from a horror movie. Can’t move around too much. This is nice except it keeps wanting to come off and land everywhere but my face.”
      • Post-Mask: “Felt oily afterwards. Definitely was not worth it in the least.”
        • Rating – 1/5
  • Mario  Badescu’s Flower and Tonic Mask
    • Cruelty Free
    • Ulta free gift
    • 15-20 Minute Mask
      • Pre-Mask: “I don’t know much about this one. So naturally I’m just going to throw it on my face and see what occurs. It’s a weird pale green color. It’s not too thick or dry so that’s nice.”
      • Mid-Mask: “Feels fresh and clean. Stiffens up. Personally I’ve found that I like the masks that harden.”
      • Post-Mask: “My skin feels soft but I feel like there’s a slight residue once again. That seems to be a reoccurring problem with the masks I’ve tried.”
        • Rating – 3/5

So that was a fun experience for me and hopefully for you as well. I don’t have a lot of experience with face masks. Most of what I do is on a whim or a gut feeling. If I find a knew set of masks to try out I’ll be sure to make another short post to let you guys know what I thought.

Maybe you’ve had your own experience with facial masks, be them good or bad, let me know down below in the comments. Thanks for reading, guys!

 

Lost & Found

img_5357It is in the quiet hours I spend alone that feelings of bleak despair takes me captive. So often I find that we surround ourselves with people, activities noise because when you strip it all away we have to face ourselves. It is a scary thing –

Being alone.

The car is too quiet, the room too barren, life too intimidating without the back up singers that build us up and protect us.

But that is the problem, you see. It is easy to find yourself among distractions. Mostly because you are not actually finding yourself.

Let yourself be alone. Let the background blur so that you yourself may come into focus. And when that sense of loss finds you remember that in order to find ourselves we must first lose ourselves.

It’ll be okay.

 

Writers

img_2804Writers.

We are masochistic beings. There is no real way to dance with the muse if you don’t let her tug on your heart strings or indulge in your darkest secrets first. It is the price we pay to achieve the flow of a carefully manicured work of literary art.

Writers pick at the scabs of our pasts, watching them pucker with blood and spill memories upon paper in words thicker than such substance.

Writers viciously claw at scars long healed to see if it is still tender to the touch. Writers play with their own emotions so that in turn they can influence that of their readers.

Writers relish in the product of their pain but it is always pain and strong emotions that bring out the best stories.

If you so desire, hack away at your emotional baggage, unload it upon paper in ink thicker than blood, and join the ranks of the writers.