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Currently Reading: The Woodcutter

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The Woodcutter on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

I have to share this book, The Woodcutter by Kate Danley. I’m just passed halfway and I’m going to be so sad when this book ends. It is such an intriguing and engaging read! Maybe it’s just me but the story and characters here are so fresh! As soon as I start reading, I’m pulled in and I just want to continue reading nonstop. Of course, I have to stop on and off to go do other things but that is beside the point.

The story is refreshing and mysterious and a bit chilly even! I love how the main hero is called simply “The Woodcutter”. The name is so simple and yet I feel there is a great mystery behind him. I can’t wait to find out. Then there is this character that is called “The Gentleman” and “The Queen”. There are many fairy tale characters in the story and were cleverly intertwined into the plot.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.

Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

 

Seriously, if you want to read something different but just as good, give this a try. If you’ve read it, let me know what you think. I seriously love it so far!

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Nature Republic mini haul

I went to a Nature Republic store today and planned on buying the snail foam cleanser that I have been testing and loving. Unfortunately, they’re out and will probably get some next week. I then looked around since I’ve never been to a Korean skin care / beauty store and everything is just so neat and prettily set up. I noticed most of the Asian skincare / beauty items have such pretty pretty packagings. Hey, it’s the little things. :)

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The emulsion housed in a heavy glass bottle. 

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Side by side of the Nature Republic emulsion and the Laneige

Though they didn’t have what I want, I grabbed a few things that I did not plan on getting but will do nicely for now. I ran out of the Laneige Bright Plus Emulsion days ago and have been using the Kose Sekkisei cream as an alternative. I’m not really feeling that one. This Aqua Super Aqua Max White C Waterful Emulsion was on sale for $6.99 for a 150ml bottle. Whew what a mouthful! Anyway, I needed an emulsion and this has vitamin C and is brightening so it sounds like a similar replacement. I love the Laneige but it is also 5x the price of this one though I found out I’m not a fan of the Nature Republic’s opening. Instead of a pump, it just have a small hole and you have to smack it pretty hard on your palm to get a bit of the emulsion out. I have to be doing it wrong somehow…

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The pretty blue bottle of hydro ampoule

The 2nd item I picked up is the Original Power Hydro Ampoule to help with extra hydration. It was on sale for $12 for a 30ml bottle. This cute bottle has a dropper (yeah!) so you can dispense the exact amount desired.

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Fingers crossed for this magic remover to really work like magic

For the last item, I picked up the Magic Remover Makeup Gel since it was on sale for $3.90 for a 100ml tube and the reviews were pretty favorable. I’m almost out of The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil and have not yet purchase a back up so I will use this as a replacement. That is the plan anyway.

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The generous samples of foam cleanser and snail booster and emulsion

Last but not least, the super friendly sales lady gave me these samples because they didn’t have the snail foam cleanser. She was such a great help answering my questions while I was there.

I’m pretty happy with the prices and had an awesome first time shopping at Nature Republic. I can’t wait to go back next week!

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Clarins Bright Plus products

I love Ebay. I love Clarins. I also love it when I can find great deals on Clarins (or other products) through Ebay. Win win for me! :D

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum and Mask

This came in the mail two days ago – the Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum and Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Mask (.28 oz x 8). I paid about $32 for these items including shipping and they were listed as new.

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8 individual tubes containing .28 oz of product

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Mask

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Mask cream

 The masks are all individually sealed and should be use twice a week for 4 weeks, hence the 8 tubes are single doses. I received one of the tubes as a sample a while back and let me tell you, it lasted me at least 4 uses and 2 of those times I thought I put too much on. There is no way I can use one tube each time so they will last way longer. Yeah me! Anyway, I finished up that sample and really missed not having it afterwards. I’m thrilled to have won this set. I just love the barely there scent, the luxurious and easy to spread cream, and how it seems to instantly brighten up my complexion once rinsed off. I don’t know if there’s any long term benefit but I enjoyed it very much. Enough that I want to use it continuously! I am going to commit to twice a week for 4 weeks just with this mask to find out.

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum

Now, the serum I have never try but since it was from the same seller, I decided to bid and won! The pump bottle is 1.06 oz and the serum smells very nice too. I will use this in the morning just on my spots before my moisturizer and see if there’s any “brightening”. Even if it doesn’t do much, I won’t be crying buckets of tears since I didn’t pay full price.

Thumbs up to Ebay!

 

 

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Movies: { So Young } and { Fleet of Time }

I recently got the chance to watch Fleet of Time with Eddie Peng and Ni Ni and what’s really weird is how much I kept thinking back to the So Young and kept comparing the two movies in my head. These movies still linger in my mind, most likely due to the nostalgic and bittersweet feelings they left behind. This blog post is a result of that and which one is my favorite.

So Young (2013) – starring Mark Chao, Yang Zishan, Han Geng, and Maggie Jiang

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From Amazon:

Synopsis: In the brink of the 90s, 18-year-old Zheng Wei steps into her university life with a hopeful heart for love. She forms a great friendship with her roommates and united as a group, they embark on their university life together. Wei meets Chen Hao-Zheng in a chance encounter, and despite initial reluctance, Chen accepts Wei as his girlfriend and the two become inseparable. Four years of university life pass and Wei looks forward to establishing a life together with Chen. However, Chen is forced into an impossible decision to leave Wei. Devastated, Wei decides to start afresh. A decade later, Wei’s previous lovers Lin and Chen both find their way back into her life and she has to make a choice of her next step in life.

So Young is Vicki Zhao Wei’s directorial debut starring the fabulous Mark Chao (yes I totally love him! :D) and the Vicki act-a-like (I mean that in a good way!) Yang Zishan as they meet and fall in love during university life. I was really sucked into this by the acting of the fresh faces and amazed by Mark Chao right after watching him starred opposite Vicki in Love. The movie is also adapted from a novel, translated to “To our youth that is fading away”. This starts with life from university to college and after. Yang Zishan really amazed me in here. Her acting was spot on and reminds me so much of Vicki in her earlier roles. Without trying to reveal any spoilers, I’m going to be kind of vague. I find them totally sweet and I adore the supporting cast. I like the tight bond and friendship that the whole group had and how it was portrayed. The last scene is beautiful to me, especially since it was a flashback, but one that was not revealed to the audiences before. It was so bittersweet and touching. I cried and hurt for them.

Fleet of Time (2014) – starring Eddie Peng, Ni Ni, Zheng Kai, Wei Chen, and Zhang Zixuan.

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From Wiki:

The film is adapted from the popular novel of the same name by Chinese writer Jiu Yehui (???). Its a coming of age tale of a close group of friends as they experience high school, college and eventually adulthood through the 90s and 2000s

Fresh from watching Eddie Peng in Sound of the Desert (which is not done being English subbed yet), I almost couldn’t recognized him when I first watched Fleet of Time. I had to rewatched the opening credits for the cast to really make sure it was him. LOL This movie also start off with their years in university, in college, and afterwards. Most of the events are told through flashbacks. I actually found that just a tad too distracting in here as some of the them created more questions. It was a little shaking with the jumping back and forth. It made it seem like all the characters were just a little too pre-occupied with the past even as a wedding was going on and they all seemed to be successful people. I find Eddie and Ni Ni’s characters in here cute too, but only for a while. Again, without revealing any spoilers, I thought this movie was messy due to the way the story unfolded (with flashbacks). There were two scenes that I thought were very well done and left lasting impressions in my mind. Both were emotional with the 2nd just totally riveting. And yes I cried and hurt for them too.

Quick comparisons:

Characters: I love the casts in So Young more. The group was more engaging, funnier but still stuck together.

Love Story: So Young again. How should I say this without spoiling anything? I can’t… without giving away some details so…

Flow of the story: So Young because it wasn’t told in multiple flashbacks. It was more straightforward so it was less chopping.

Plot: So Young because everyone was way too absorbed in the past in Fleet of Time. The time before and during the wedding was just the past, the past, and the past. Let’s just say I don’t think the marriage will be a lasting one.

Favorite: So Young because I have rewatched this one many times. I enjoyed the interactions and goofiness of all the cast. I like the spunkiness of Zheng Wei (Yang Zishan) and the quietness (but adorable) of Xiaozheng (Mark Chao). While both movies will pop in and out of my head for a long time for nostalgic reasons, I don’t think that I will be rewatching Fleet of Time any time soon.

Have you watched any of these two movies? What did you think? Which one is your favorite? I would love to know. :)