October Wrap-up

October was a whopping good month for me. I was extremely busy the whole month, but for the most part it was a nice kind of busy. There were some bumps in the road- like the PSAT, which I don’t think I did as well on as I could have and a slight scrape against a fellow student’s car in the parking lot- but overall, I had a fantastic month that I want to remember. Scroll to the bottom to see all the pictures!

Spirit Week
My school’s spirit week began the first week of October to pump everyone up for the homecoming game. I didn’t go all out (most days I just wore a themed t-shirt) but on Wizard Wednesday I dressed up as Harry Potter. I used red face paint to make a scar on my forehead before school and by 5th period had forgotten it was there. I ended up having to run to the bathroom in the middle of Spanish because it looked like my entire face was bleeding (I had unwittingly smeared the paint all over myself). My friend redrew the scar with eyeliner, but during 7th period I smeared it again and took it off for good. It was a good laugh for everyone witnessing my blunders.

Panther Prowl
Panther Prowl is my school’s annual student-led pep rally that occurs the week of the homecoming game at night. Each service club gets to perform a dance before the audience and a panel of judges decides whose was best. The theme this year was “Circus” so my service club, La Sertoa, did a really cool dance with the seniors dressed as dolls (representing my school) and the juniors dressed as clowns (representing the other team’s school). Our music was an awesome mashup of three songs, and we nailed our performance. Our hard work paid off because we won!

One Direction Concert
This was definitely one of the highlights of my month year. I bought tickets for me and my friend Kathryn for the Where We Are tour 11 months in advance and had been anticipating the event for what seemed like forever. And oh my goodness, I was not disappointed. The opening act was 5 Seconds of Summer, whose music I was only slightly familiar with. I loved them, and then One Direction came out. And I was blown away. My city was the second-to-last stop of the WWA tour, and Harry’s hair was done up by Lou in french braids and a bun. At first I was annoyed because I love his long hair and turban look, but I quickly grew to love the new do. We were the only show he wore it like that for! I think I will end up writing a separate post about this concert sometime before the year ends- I still have a lot of pictures and videos to go through and compile.

Birthday Parties
This month, I celebrated birthdays with three of my friends. My friend Jackie had a beautiful dinner party at a country club. I got salad, steamed and marinated veggies with brown rice, lots of bread, and rose-shaped butter. It was all delicious, and even better was the giant piece of confetti cake that followed. Next, my friend Gracie had a dinner party at a fancy Italian restaurant at the mall. I got mushroom ravioli, and again, lots of bread. Afterwards, we all drove to Yogurtology and got fro-yo and sat outside for over an hour talking and singing along to the music blasting from the store’s speakers. And finally, my friend Jodi had an awesome dinner and movie night at her house. We had salad, chips and homemade queso, and self-decorated cupcakes. And lots of peach tea. Then we watched Failure to Launch, a funny chick-flick that I quite enjoyed. Afterward, those of us who stayed went out to the backyard and sat around a campfire. I am so thankful that I was able to celebrate such special occasions with three great friends.

5SOS
After the One Direction concert, I bought the 5SOS album and all of the band’s EP’s. I am now obsessed with their music and- to an extent- them. They are doing a Rock Out with Your Socks Out tour next year, and I bought tickets for myself and Kathryn. It’s next September, but we’re already super pumped for it.

Homecoming Dance
My friend Gracie has organized a homecoming group for the past three years, but this was the first year that I could go. My first homecoming was an interesting experience. We started out at Arden’s house to take pictures. Then a limo came and picked us up and took us to dinner at Seasons 52. I ordered the organic baby spinach and caramelized pear salad and it was delicious. A couple from a few tables away sent a waiter over to ask us what we were dressed up for, and when we replied “homecoming,” the woman came over and talked to us. She said that her son went to another high school and that he had a girlfriend of 10 months that she wanted him to break up with. She then showed us a picture of him in his truck (he was cute) and asked if anyone was interested. My friend Katelyn put her number in the mom’s phone. It was one of the funniest experiences I’ve had in a long time, and we all thought it was hilarious. After dinner, the limo drove us to the dance. The dance itself sucked, quite frankly. The music was bad- all rap or spanish love songs. There was a lot of grinding going on around us, but luckily our all-girl group stuck together in a huddle and danced awkwardly for almost two hours. We met up with another group friends during the dance, as well. Afterward, the limo drove us back to Gracie’s house where we had a midnight breakfast. A few girls who didn’t come to the dance showed up and we all hung out and talked for awhile. I ended up leaving at around 2 because I hate sleepovers (I need as much sleep as I can get, honestly), but some girls spent the night. Overall, I’m glad I went. Everything besides the dance was a blast and I had a fun time bonding with the girls in my group.

Book Club
The day after homecoming was book club. This month, we read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I got my friend Rebekah to come, and we had pumpkin spice tea and mini pumpkin cupcakes while we discussed the book (which neither of us finished until after the meeting).

One Direction Concert Movie
I went to see the One Direction Where We Are concert film all by myself because my friend Kathryn had to cancel last minute. It was a $15 ticket, which is pretty pricy. I sat alone among a bunch of 12 year old girls and middle-aged moms. But there was an exclusive interview for most of the first half hour and then the Milan concert footage for another hour or so. It was a great film, very well made. I’m glad I got to see it.

Swimming
For high school swimming, we had our last dual meet this month. We also had Western Conference Championships and County Championships. My team won both meets and I qualified for both. Then we had districts at the end of the month, which my team won, and I advanced to regions. My team had a regions dinner the night before Halloween.

New Books
My reading has significantly declined since the start of school, I’m sad to say. However, I still purchased two new books this month. The Blood of Olympus released in the beginning of October and it’s the fifth and final installment in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. I also bought the Penguin Clothbound Classics edition of The Count of Monte Cristo (unabridged), which is our November book club selection. I haven’t begun Riordan’s new release yet, but I’ve read around 60 pages of Alexandre Dumas’s famed classic and I’m loving it so far.

Steal My Girl Music Video
The music video for One Direction’s newest single released! It’s nonsensical like the band’s music videos always are, but it’s highly entertaining. The boys announced that we, the fans, had broken the 24-hour VEVO record, but that turned out to be a mistake. Unfortunately, we did not break the record, but we still got to see an awesome music video to an awesome song.

Grandparents
My mom’s parents returned to their Florida home after being in their North Carolina retirement community for the summer. We visited them the day after my mom’s birthday and caught up, ate lunch and dessert, and played charades. It was great to see them again after so long.

1989
Taylor Swift’s new album released on October 27th! It is her fifth album, and it’s labeled as all pop. I went to Target straight after school Monday and bought the deluxe edition. I’ve had it on repeat in my car all week, and listened to it every chance I get. I think this is definitely her best album yet. I love her new sound and I’m happy her songs are still lyrically based. I love every single song- no surprise- but my favorites are Blank SpaceStyleAll You Had To Do Was Stay, and Wonderland. I think I will post a separate album review sometime soon.

Hockey
I went to two Lightning games this month. In the game versus the New Jersey Devils, the Lightning lost 2-1, but in the game versus the Arizona Coyotes, the Bolts won 7-3. I went with my dad to the first game, but brought my friend Korina along to the second one. My dad and brother, Matthew, sat in our season seats while Korina and I sat in the rowdy 3rd level section. It was an interesting change in venue, but we moved down to sit with my family after the 1st period. I think I might have sparked a slight interest in hockey in Korina, although she admitted it was mostly the “hot players” that grabbed her attention, not the game itself. I also watched the Lightning games I didn’t go to on television, and also watched a few other hockey games on TV here and there. The Lightning season home opener was at the beginning of the month (I stupidly gave up my tickets to babysit), and the puck officially dropped on the 2014-2015 NHL season.

New Clothes
I purchased some new clothes last month in preparation for the some of the upcoming events I had in October, but this month I bought a few new things too. I bought a necklace for homecoming at a local boutique and I bought three sweatshirts from an amazing Etsy shop: a Harry Styles tattoo sweatshirt, a Louis Tomlinson tattoo sweatshirt, and a “lol ur not harry styles” sweatshirt. I’m in love. I also bought a sweater on sale from Banana Republic that looks very similar to the one the boys wore in the You & I music video. Can you sense a theme to my purchases?

Friends
Due to the various organized social gatherings I attended this month, I spent a lot of quality time with friends. I also did spontaneous individual things- like making a fro-yo run at 9:30 pm with Korina (during which she got a flat tire) and having deep talks on the floor of my room afterward. This was a month of long phone conversations and nighttime drives. I made a Peter Pan costume for my friend Peter for Halloween. We went shopping earlier in the month to get the materials I would need, and then did a fitting (and mini photo shoot) on Halloween. I cut the t-shirt, measured, cut, and braided the belt, and cut and sewed the hat all by myself. I ordered tights online and picked out his shoes. I was very pleased with the way it turned out, and am proud of myself for doing it.

Halloween
I haven’t celebrated Halloween since 8th grade. It’s never been a holiday I’m particularly fond of, but this year a number of factors combined to make it a great night. This year, Halloween was on a Friday, I had a brilliant costume idea, and I had plans to celebrate. I dressed up as Harry Styles. I wore my new tattoo sweatshirt, skinny jeans, black ankle boots, and Korina did my hair in two side french braids with a bun in the middle. I went to Korina’s house, along with my friend Ally (who dressed as Lorde) and Korina’s friend Paula (who dressed as batman). We got thai/sushi takeout from one of my favorite restaurants and spent the night passing out candy, taking pictures, and running around the house like idiots. I got us locked out of the house, but thankfully Korina’s parents came home to let us in. We were going to watch Harry Potter movies, but I had a curfew due to regions being the next day so I left around 11. It was a fun time, and we had lots of laughs.

Also, this didn’t fit into any of the above categories, but my American Studies classes did mock trials the day before Halloween and I was the judge! Gaveling.

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Two New Books

I was ecstatic when the books I ordered at the very tail end of Labor Day finally arrived on Saturday in a very beat-up Barnes & Noble box. I ripped open the box and lo and behold: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan, both in pristine condition and wearing the most exquisite covers.

Heir of Fire was my most-anticipated release of 2014. I love, love, love the Throne of Glass series, and I’ve waited just over a year to get my hands on the third installment. I heard about Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods at the beginning of summer and I knew I wanted to read it. However, being a mythology fanatic, I wasn’t sure I’d buy a copy when I already have several Greek mythology books. When I went online to B&N, I was planning to preorder Heir of Fire and maybe order an extra book (free shipping was my excuse). I had a coupon and Rick Riordan’s newest book was already marked down quite a bit, so I jumped on the opportunity.

Let me tell you, this book is BIG. Heir of Fire is a tall book, but Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods is a giant. The online picture was deceiving because it appeared to be the the same size as Rick Riordan’s books. Alas, it is not and will not fit on my designated Rick Riordan shelf. First World Problems… sigh.

John Rocco illustrated Percy’s accounts of the Greek myths and their origins, making the book gorgeous on the inside as well as on the dust jacket. He designed the new and original Percy Jackson & the Olympians covers, along with Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus and Kane Chronicles series. Heir of Fire matches the cover of Crown of Midnight and the paperback cover of Throne of Glass.

Here are my new beauties.

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Goodreads
Heir of Fire | Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods

 

Torn Over a Rocco

I believe in love at first sight. Many a bag has caught my eye from up close or a distance, and I am gone, fallen in love with one look. With bags and me, there seems to be an instant click. That being said, I never “clicked” with the Alexander Wang Rocco bag. When it started getting hype a few years back, I just didn’t understand it. The bag looked slouchy, the leather dull and faded, and the studs too edgy for me to ever imagine carrying. 

Well, all that changed on Saturday while I was watching the lovely Zoella on YouTube. I watched her “What’s in My Bag?” video from January, and in it, she lifted up her black Rocco bag with rose gold hardware. And I was gone. I fell in love in less than ten seconds. So naturally, my new obsession led me to do bag research into the wee hours of the morning, and half of the following day. I found different color combinations, types of leather, reviews, and prices. I imagined all the outfits I would wear the bag with, what I would put in it, where I would take it. I had to actually shut my laptop on several occasions to prevent myself from ordering it then and there. 

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This bag is slightly under $1k. For a designer bag, that’s on the lower end of the price range. But it did raise to mind some concerns. For one, the bag is made in China. Another is that the studs could get scratched when the bag is set down. I don’t know if I should get the rose gold hardware because I don’t even own any rose gold jewelry. There have also been some reviews that say the quality of the leather and stitching is hit or miss.

So do I take a leap of faith and order one, seeing for myself if these issues come to light? Or do I wait it out until a sale comes along or my obsession dies down? There are other bags I want, certainly. But none so affordable as this. And the laid-back nature of the Rocco draws me in, more fitting to my relaxed style now than a few years ago.

Thus, I find myself torn over what to do. To buy, or not to buy, that is the question. 

More Information
Zoella’s video | Rocco Bag | Alexander Wang