Book Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld starts with :”The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit”. That in my opinion is a very interesting first line to start a book with. From the very beginning i was sucked into the adventures of Tally Youngblood.  I have missed this feeling. Reading a book that grips you from the very beginning till the very last word feels very exhilarating. I enjoy reading books that create a world that might exist after ours showing us a glimpse of what the future could be. The book reminded me of another book a enjoyed years ago: The Giver by Lois Lowry. The book shows the ugly side of being pretty. Many books create future worlds that arise from wanting to distant themselves from our current world. If we continue as we are would we destroy everything? Would future generations see us as crazy ‘rusties’?

A few quotes i enjoyed:

“In a world of extreme beauty, anyone normal is ugly.”

“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.”

“Perhaps the logical conclusion of everyone looking the same is everyone thinking the same.”

“The flowers were so beautiful, so delicate and unthreatening, but they choked everything around them.”

                               ― Scott WesterfeldUglies

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Inspiration

I am starting a new series in my blog called ‘Inspiration’. I post several things i found inspiring that week including art, quotes, tips, websites, books, people, and music.  It is a place to reflect on the week and give a shout out to things that pushed me in the right direction. To check out other ‘Inspiration’ posts follow the tag: inspiration.

Art:

Courtesy of DeivCalviz

Courtesy of DeivCalviz

Quote:

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renenwed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”

                                                                          ― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Music:

Fitness:

Courtesy of Workout Motivator

Courtesy of Workout Motivator

Top 10 TV Shows

My favourite way to relax when i don’t feel like reading is to watch TV shows. I’m going to list my top 10 current tv show favorites. I watch a wide variety of TV shows including drama, comedy, and teen shows. Some are new while others have been on tv forever.

In no particular order:

1. The Vampire Diaries

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

2. Revenge

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

3. Pretty Little Liars

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

4. Big Bang Theory

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

5. Grey’s Anatomy

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

6. The Lying Game

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

7. How I Met Your Mother

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

8. Arrow

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

9. American Horror Story

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

10. Once Upon A Time

Courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMDB

Word of the Year (2013): Strong

 

Courtesy of Vibrant Colors

Courtesy of Vibrant Colors

I recently discovered a new blog that i enjoy visiting. The blog is called Analyfe and on it Erin recently discussed her word for 2013 being connect.   Which reminded me that i haven’t posted about my word for 2013 yet. My word for 2013 is strong.

I was on holiday in Malaysia for the new years. I remember sitting in the hotel a few hours before midnight hearing the crowds gather around the Petronas Towers to watch the fire workers. I wanted to finish writing what 2013 is going to be all about for me. Somehow it does not count unless i plan it all out before midnight. I wanted to chose a word to focus on, a word that wil help me reach my goals. For 2013 i want stronger relationships, beliefs, dreams. I want to be stronger. To stand up for my thoughts, to pursue my dreams, to my push my limit. To be stronger than the fear of failing. I want to be strong mentally, physically, and emotionally. I want to be forgiving, accepting, and loving.

List the Words That Touch Your Soul

I decided to participate in Moorea Seal‘s Project 52. I’m a little late to the party, but hopefully I will catch up. I loved her description of the project and how it works:

“I love lists!  So I thought it would be fun to start a series on my blog for 2013 that focuses on List making, lists for fun, lists for self discovery, you name it.  And it’s all about participation!  Each week I’ll have a new list prompt for you to download.  I think it could be really fun to print out a page each week, collect them through the year and then bind them together at the end of the year as a little memento of 2013.”

The first prompt is:  List the Words That Touch Your Soul

Words that Touch My Soul

Words that Touch My Soul

I used ABCya! to create the word cloud. I think it showcases the words i chose in a more artistic form.

The words i chose revolved around:

  • The people i love and my relationship with them: Family, love, trust, loyalty
  • The things i love: Reading, writing, music
  • How i see the future: Edge, horizon, purpose, lost, hope, light, chances
  • Gentle reminders: Memories, relaxation, care, live, pray, breath

Good Habits Challenge

Apparently it takes 28 days to form a habit. I’m going creating a list of good habits i would like to form and i’m challenging myself to do them everyday for from the 5th of Feb till the 4th of March.

Daily Habits:

1.Waking up early 

Courtesy of Verónica

Courtesy of Verónica

I would like to wake up at 6AM when i have university and at 8AM on my days off. I notice that when i’m early my day starts out on a much better note. I am less stressed, i can take them time to walk through the motions with out rushing out the door.

2.Make my bed first thing when i wake up

Something about a made bed really makes the room look more organised and makes me feel like a i have it all under control. Who doesn’t love jumping into a nicely made bed?!

 

3.Exercising for 15mins

Exercising for a longer time a few times a week works for some people, but it never works for me. Working out for a short time everyday creates a habit and seems less daunting than longer stretches of time.
4.Reaching out to a friend 

I am absolutely bad at keeping in touch with friends and reaching out to them. I get so caught up in my do list i tend to withdraw from the outside world. I would like to somehow reach out to one friend everyday.

5.Reading for at least an hour

Courtesy of Passion Lecture

Courtesy of Passion Lecture

I absolutely love reading. Once i start i can just keep on reading till i’m done. The challenge is making the time to open a book. Things can get very hectic and reading for an hour will give my brain a much needed break from reality.

6.Check new headlines

I would like to take a few minutes everyday to know what is going on out in the world. It is very comfortable here in my bubble , but it will be good to at least know what everyone else is talking about.
7.Take my vitamins

I just need to remember to take them!
8.Develop good study habit

I start of the semester being the best student out there until the work actually starts and then i feel like i’m constantly trying to catch up.
9.Tidy up at the end of the day

Picking up a little bit before bed will go along way in preventing an apocalypse sized mess in my room.
10.Write one sentence describing my day before going to sleep.

I would like to take a few minutes at the end of the day to to reflect on my day. I think that would give me a fresh start for the next day.

An Imperfect Perfectionist

Most people around me assume that a perfectionist is someone that does everything perfectly. I’d say that would be a dream come true. In reality there are very few things i can do “perfectly”. Being a perfectionist places impossibly highe expectations on my self. If i know that i would never be able to meet my personal standards i would rather not even try. I create impossible expectations that set myself up for failure and frustration. I want to be strong enough to try anyway. I want to be forgiving to myself when i come short of my expectations. Being terrified of even trying is probably the biggest obstacle standing between me and my goals.

This year i want to:

  • Say yes to opportunities offered to me
  • Stop second guessing my self every step of the way
  • Realize that i am more than capable of accomplishing anything i set my mind to
  • Never regret when things go wrong

Drinking Water

Courtesy of h2o2

Courtesy of h2o2

So far this week my biggest struggle has been drinking enough water! Which seems seriously ridiculous looking at my other goals. I hoping to scientists will discover that we don’t really need 2 liters (8 cups) of water per day because that seems impossible. On an average day when i’m not thinking about it i drink around 0.5 liters (2 cups)! Clearly that is not enough, but i can’t seem to drink anymore. When i put effort into meeting the goals i drink 1-1.5 liters of water. Most suggestions are for trying different flavours, but i don’t have an issue with the taste. I don’t really mind it all. Drinking a few sips of water a time completely fills me up though.

Any suggestion or tips?

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Courtesy of Harper Collins

Courtesy of Harper Collins

The Alchemist has been sitting on my bookshelf for years. It came highly recommended from many people that share my love for books. They told me how its their favourite book, its inspirational, and how it changed their life. I went out and bought it, 6 years later i finally finished reading it. Yes, it is an inspirational book. It even made it on my weekly inspirations post, but i must admit i was disappointed with it. Every year i pick it up and end up putting it. This year i powered through in 2 days and reached the end. Every time i turned the page i was hoping to reach the part where i will be swept of my feet. Some books take a while to grab you, but honestly wasn’t invested in this book till the last 10 pages. At any point i could have put it down and never thought about it again, which i did many times in the past. As i have mentioned in my blog i struggle to keep working on my dreams and the book very appropriately talks about never losing sight of your ‘destiny’. I guess its one of those that you want to love more than you really do. I like the moral of the story, but the plot was lacking in my opinion.

A few quote’s i enjoyed:

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

― Paulo Coelho

Inspiration

I am starting a new series in my blog called ‘Inspiration’. I post several things i found inspiring that week including art, quotes, tips, websites, books, people, and music.  It is a place to reflect on the week and give a shout out to things that pushed me in the right direction. To check out other ‘Inspiration’ posts follow the tag: inspiration.

Book:

Courtesy of Harper Collins

Courtesy of Harper Collins

Quote:

“Doubt ’til thou canst doubt no more…doubt is thought and thought is life. Systems which end doubt are devices for drugging thought.” – Albert Guerard

Fitness & Health:

Photo:

Courtesy of Murray Mitchel

Courtesy of Murray Mitchel

Sore

I worked out yesterday morning i’m definitely feeling it today. My legs, abs, and arms are very sore. It’s weird that being slightly uncomfortable can make some one feel so accomplished. I used Nike Training Club and Fitocracy  to come up with the workout and MyFitnessPal to track my progress. I’m already dreaming of a long hot bath tonight. I did some Jillian Michael’s videos during the summer. The ones i liked were the 30 Day shred and Body Revolution. I would mix them up with some Blogilaties as well. I’m not sure if i’ll incorporate them in my current work out routine yet.

I’m doing pretty good food wise. Eating mainly healthy and staying under my calorie limit. I should have a better breakfast, but i’m pretty bad at it when university is not in session. On the water front i’m not doing so well, i had 5 glasses of water yesterday. Which, required a lot of effort. Eight glasses seems impossible at this point.

MyFitnessPal

I just created a MyFitnessPal account. It was highly recommended to me for a while and i finally decided to give it a try. I have been using SparkPeople on and off for year, it is time for a change.

My username: ForeverAsleep (Feel free to add me!)

Suggested goals based on current weight were to:

  • Consume a 1380 net calories (calories consumed – calories burned) par day
  • Carbs (190 g), Fat ( 46 g), and Protein (52 g)
  • Burn 1240 calories per week

I might post my progress on the goals a few times a month.

I downloaded their app, but haven’t really used it yet.

Initial thoughts:

  • I tried tracking my food for the day and it was very easy. They have a very large database that i thought was pretty accurate. As you add food it shows you how well you doing in relation to your goals for the day.
  • I like that you can track water consumption since that is major issue for me.
  • Tracking my exercise for the day was easy as well. I can track both cardio and strength exercises.

Life Line

Some health and fitness resources that i found useful in the past. I’ll update the list as i try new ones.

Workouts:

  • Blogilates (Youtube channel) great short workouts.

Food:

  • Wholeliving (Great recipes, i’ll try incorporate more of them in my diet)

Tracking calories and workouts:

  • SparkPeople (Used on and off for years, i do pretty well as long as i keep checking in and entering my data)
  • MyFitnessPal (I know its similar to SparkPeople, highly recommended to me. I might sign up see and check it out)

Apps:

  • Nike Training (My favourite workout app, ever!)
  • Lost it
  • Fitocracy

To Read in 2013

Books i want to read in 2013

I’m going to start a list of books i would like to eventually read and keep track of them. I might review some of them here in the future. The list is all over the place some are older books while others are fairly new. I’ll add to the list as i discover new books.

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. Matched by Ally Condie
  3. Uglies by by Scott Westerfeld
  4. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
  5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  6. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  7. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
  8. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  9. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  10. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
  11. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  12. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  13. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and Pat Conroy
  14. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  15. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  16. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  17. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  18. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  19. For One More Day by Mitch Albom
  20. The Alchemist  by Paulo Coelho
  21. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
  22. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  23. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  24. Quiet by Susan Cain
  25. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Time to Tie those Shoe Laces

Every single year since i turned 13 one resolution has stayed constant: exercise more, lose weight, an eat healthier. Seven years later and i haven’t come close to being successful. I will give it an honest to God try this year and see how far i get. I’m 20 i should like my best, but i don’t feel like this my best.

Current stats:

  • Height: 166cm (5″5)
  • Weight: 73kg (160lbs)
  • BMI: 26.5

Ultimate Goal:

  • Weight:  60kg (132lbs)
  • BMI: 21.8

Steps:

  • Exercise for at least 10mins a day
  • Eat some vegetables and fruit everyday
  • Drink 2 liters of water daily
  • Take my vitamins

Game Plan 2013

Hopefully 2013 will be the year my resolutions will not just sit on pretty paper in the back of my cupboard. Keeping a blog might make me more accountable..or maybe not, but we will find out soon enough! A bit ironic that i’m already a month behind 🙂

List of predictable new year resolutions:

  • Be happier with your decisions
  • Take care of your body
  • Write and read more
  • Work towards your life goals