Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sister Trip to Los Angeles, California | March 1 - March 6

Friday, March 1
Travel Day. I drove home from school, took my dog on a walk, and then my mom drove my sister and me to a bus station to get to Logan Airport. The flight hit a little bit of turbulence when we were going over the midwest, but other than that it was fine.  I did some research beforehand and read that there weren't going to be any TVs on the flight, so I downloaded an app the airline talked about and didn't pack my headphone jack headphones. However, when we got on the flight, there were TVs, so I had to buy some headphones on the plane. I was also super excited because I thought the flight had all of the Harry Potter movies and I have been dying to watch the 6th one for a while now.  The flight had all of the movies, except the 6th one! I was so disappointed. I watched Chasing Mavericks and Bohemian Rhapsody instead. When we landed, we picked up our rental car, went to CVS because I forgot to pack a toothbrush, and then grabbed In-N-Out burger before going to our Airbnb. I got french fries, and a chocolate shake from In-N-Out burger and the fries were gross, but the shake was good.
Saturday, March 2
My sister and I drove to San Diego today to meet up with our cousin.  We hadn't seen her in a while, so it was nice to catch up and see her apartment.  When we left her place, we went to The Baked Bear and got ice cream sandwiches that were amazing! I got a chocolate brownie and a salted caramel chocolate chip cookie for the "bread" and cookie dough ice cream in the middle.  We walked so we could see the water, but it was raining so we didn't go onto the beach.  After that we got some tacos at Puesto before making our way back to L.A. We dropped off the rental car and walked back to our AirBnB because the rain had let up.  That night we met my sister's friends for dinner at a place called Zinque. I got lasagna, and it was so good!
Sunday, March 3
In the morning my sister and I walked to The Grove and got some food for breakfast. I got a delicious cinnamon roll. Then we went with her friends to a Wine Safari in Malibu. Again, it was raining, but we made the most of it. We got to see donkeys, llamas, Scottish highland cows, zebras, and a giraffe named Stanley who is retired from Hollywood because he is too tall. We also got to try some different wines. The tour was really fun, and our driver and tour guide were great, which really helped make the experience extra fun, even in the rain. When we got back to L.A. we got a late lunch before my sister's friend dropped us off. My sister and I decided to go to the LACMA and see the lamppost art exhibit, and we walked through The Grove again. We got some candy and then went back to the Airbnb to watch a movie.
Monday, March 4
We started the day by going to the Griffith Park Observatory to see the Hollywood sign. Then we went to Warner Bros. Studios for a studio tour. Our guide and group weren't as fun as the safari, but I still really enjoyed getting to see the behind the scenes of a studio lot. There was a bunch of stuff for Harry Potter, and I got sorted into Gryffindor by the sorting hat. My sister got Ravenclaw. After that, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and then went on a StarLine tour of Celebrity Houses. Basically, a tour guide drives you around and points out houses that celebrities either currently live in or used to live in. It was a great way to see the different parts of the city. We got some drinks at TomTom before meeting up with my sister's friends at SUR for dinner - they're big Vanderpump Rules fans.
Tuesday, March 5
We started today not sure what to do because we didn't know what the weather was going to look like. We started by getting breakfast at Republique with one of my sister's friends because it was the last time we were going to be seeing her on our trip. Then we decided to get a tour of Dodgers Stadium, which ended up being really cool. We planned on getting dinner with my sister's other friend at a rooftop restaurant called Perch, so we made our way to that area of the city and walked around and got cupcakes while we waited for our reservation. My sister's friend ended up getting stuck at work and couldn't meet us at Perch, but she did come to the L.A. Kings hockey game with us, so we got to see her one last time. The game was fun, but the Kings lost.
Wednesday, March 6
We woke up at 5:30am and made our way to the airport for our 8:55 flight back home. Again, there was a little bit of turbulence, but other than that the flight was fine. I watched Tag and some episodes of The Big Bang Theory.
If you're interested in more, check out my YouTube Channel for the corresponding video


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Forgetting Aiden by Juliet Picard | Book Review*

Happy Release Day to Forgetting Aiden by Juliet Picard! I loved this story because of who Eva is as a person and how she balances her life in and out of the spotlight. This book follows her to therapy, the recording studio, auditions, and filming in a way that gives a backstage pass to Hollywood. The incorporation of social media also shows what it's like to be the person receiving hateful messages about decisions that were right for her. There is also a powerful message about how women can be seen in the media, as Eva struggles to be known as Aiden Press' ex over and over again.

Speaking of Aiden, he is a big factor in this story as well. Eva breaks up with him after his drinking gets too accessive and she sees a photo of him in bed with a model. And after that, a lot of positive things happen to her. She is asked to record a song with Xavier, who she starts a relationahip with, and she is cast as the lead role in an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Hollywood's favorite director. However, when she walks in to her first day of filming and finds out that Aiden is playing the lead, Eva has to work hard to keep her professional image positive.

I don't want to give too much away because this book is out today and I want to give you a chance to read it on your own. I will say that Eva's story has a few twists and turns in it that make you question whether or not someone in the spotlight can have their own life or if everything is Hollywood is scripted. 

Welcome to Hollywood, where celebrities like me attend fancy galas, release new records, and star in classic films like Romeo and Juliet -- sometimes requiring simulated sex with their ex-boyfriend.

Aiden Press is Hollywood's newest bad boy, but he's no stranger to me. He traded in his sweet Country artist stardom for a shot at making it big as a pop star. I’m sure he’s on the verge of greatness with lyrics like big booty, cash money, and oh yeah.

Of course, he'll try to win me over with those baby blue eyes, gush-worthy smile, and deep V-line leading down to...

O Aiden!

I mean...

O Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

#FREE in Kindle Unlimited | Only $2.99 for an e-book copy | Paperback available NOW!

Author Bio:
Juliet Picard has published articles for Girl Ambition, a tween online site, and has been a stringer for CosmoGirl! Magazine, a tween spin-off of Cosmopolitan. She graduated cum laude from Cornell University where she took a number of creative writing courses and studied business. 

Juliet Picard is proud to present readers with Forgetting Aiden that draws on her mixed ethnicity as a Mexican-American writer and experiences as an actress. She also pays tribute to her husband's Colombian nationality and their frequent travels to this beautiful country. 

Juliet Picard hopes to inspire young women to follow their dreams, even in the face of adversity.

For more information or to connect with Juliet:

*This review was requested, but the opinions are my own


Monday, March 4, 2019

Books I Read in January & February

I didn't get the chance to do too much reading over the past two months.  I was more focused on transitioning to my new school schedule and classwork.  However, the two physical books I read were both about acting/movies, which I thought was funny as I didn't do that on purpose.

Finding Alexei by Kendall Ryan
Bossy Brit by Kendall Ryan
I grouped these two together because they're both by Kendall Ryan and have a similar setup.  Both are short romances. Finding Alexei is about a chance encounter between two people who end up falling in love. And Bossy Brit is about a CEO and assistant falling in love. Of course, both stories also through in a few difficulties and circumstances, but neither of them really have a conflict. And if it does the characters resolve it really quickly. It makes them very mature, but as a reader, I was expecting things to play out longer. The stories are nice, quick reads.

Just Friends by Billy Taylor
I don't know if you guys remember this, but a few years ago this book was all over the internet because it's filled with cute sentences. The storyline itself is adorable. August is trying to balance her dreams and her feelings towards her best friend. She's struggling with the classic "Is telling him how I feel worth the risk of our friendship?" dilemma, while everyone else in her life is telling her to go for it. I really enjoyed this story and read it in a day, but I did have a few issues with it.

First, I don't think Ethan would have dated Eleanor, at least not when he did. I think Ethan should have been a character who either had a ton of girlfriends over the years or the Ethan/Eleanor relationship should have been a misunderstanding or at least should not have been as serious as they were. I won't spoil it, but at the end of the book, Ethan gives August a gift that he had been planning on giving her since the day they met and I don't believe he would be in a serious relationship a few months before he was planning to give this gift.

Two, another amazing aspect of this book is that it was self-published. However, it is sprinkled with grammatical and spelling mistakes. I would read something, think that's not correct, and then keep going. The mistakes did nothing to change my opinion of the storyline, but they were noticeable.

Unscripted by Claire Handscombe*
Release Date: April 4, 2019
I am going to try and give this review without spoiling too much of the plotline since this book doesn't come out for another month. However, being spoiler free has never been my strong point.

This novel follows four characters whose lives all intersect in one way or another. Libby is driven by her dream of writing a novel that will lead her to her favorite actor. She has a fantasy of the two of them falling in love and living happily ever after, which causes her to act selfishly in order to follow her dreams. However, someone she is still a loveable character you can't help but root for.

Dan is Libby's best friend and has been in love with her for years, but knows he can never replace her favorite actor, so he helps pay for her dream and eventually moves on for a short while.

Thom is the favorite actor who invited Libby to live with him for the summer and co-write a screenplay based off of her book. Although he's warned about her crush, Thom doesn't seem to be too worried about anything happening between the two of them as he is still in love with an ex-girlfriend from his college days.

Ebba is Thom's ex-girlfriend who helps Libby get her book published. She doesn't agree with Thom inviting her to stay because Ebba knows the extent of Libby's crush. When she and Thom start to get more serious, they both know it will crush Libby.

I really enjoyed following the storylines of each character in this book and getting the chance to learn from their perspective. Although Libby comes off a little naive, I found myself glad she was able to live out her dream and learn for herself that real life and fantasy are never the same. All four of the characters are connected in a way that reminds readers that the world isn't very big and if you want to do something you can achieve it if you're not too scared. This is definitely a title looking out for when it's available next month.

*This title was gifted to me, but the reviews are my own

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