Book Review: Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

A prequel to the Wallflower series, Again The Magic tells the story of the romance of the two Marsdens girls, Livia and Aline.
Aline has been in love with McKenna-the stable boy- since she was a little girl. But once their affair is exposed she’s forced to lie that she never loved him in order to remove him from the estate and save him from her fathers wrath.
Now years later, McKenna has returned and he is seeking revenge on Aline. He is accompanied by handsome American Mr Shaw who is instantly taken by Aline’s younger sister Olivia.
For some reason this novel took me longer than most to read(3 days) and so I’m dead tired now. But I loved every minute of it. McKenna was a bit too dark and brooding for me but the romance between Livia and Mr Shaw provided a perfect light contrast.
My only regret is that I didn’t read this before I started the ‘Wallflowers’ series.

How to Save Money on Textbooks

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The cheapest way to buy textbooks can be described in a single word. Don’t.
Textbooks are costly and once you’re done with them you’ll have to try selling them to someone else. Trust me on this. I’m sitting with an entire box of matric study guides as well as textbooks for freshman. The worst part is the syllabus for both have changed so my books are useless.
Learn a lesson from me and try as much as possible to not buy textbooks. Instead consider these options:

1) Rent: I’m not sure if this is an option in South Africa but I have seen several sites in the US advertising for textbook rentals. The good thing about renting is that you get rid of the textbook once you’re done with it. Unfortunately you can’t highlight or make additional notes in the book.

2) Borrow: Check the local library for textbooks. I’ve never actually found any of my books but it’s worth a try.

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3) Download- Online sites have ebook versions of books. This way you never have to worry about reselling the book or a heavy bag.

4) Photocopy- Your campus library should have a copy of all reading material. If all else fails, photocopy the necessary notes. Sometimes this may be close to impossible (ie the book is too large to copy or is missing several pages) but if you’re barely going to use the book, it’s a great substitute. I’ve paid R120 for a photocopy of a R300 book. That’s R200 I could eat. Or pay fees (I’m lying. I’m going to eat it).

Buying

Sometimes you just have to give in and buy the book. Here are a few cheap ideas for books.

Second-hand: My Management textbook was too large to photocopy and the sections were getting cut off. I paid R250 for a second hand copy from a friend(everyone else was selling theirs for R400) and it was so worth the great marks I received later on. Bonus? She had added additional notes.
Check your student website as well as second-hand stores for textbooks if you can’t find them anywhere else. Sometimes these stores buy back which takes away another hassle. Yay!

What you should never ever do if you end up having to buy textbooks, is buy them new. You don’t need that hassle or expense. Talk to other students who have done the module to find out if you really need the textbook. And if you do then compare prices before buying.

College is expensive enough on its own. Any way to save money is a great idea. Especially if it means you don’t spend on a book you’ll only need for a few months.

Senior Year: Day One

I swore this would be a strictly content and nothing about me blog but of course that hasn’t lasted long. It’s the first day of my senior year of college. I’m freaking out. I don’t know what to expect. My distraction in the meanwhile is my gorgeous nails which I painted with Essence magnetic nail polish. I believe if you have great nails you can take on the world (or just have great-looking nails).

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Healthy Snacking For College

As a college student, it’s difficult to find snacks that are both healthy and quick. So I searched all over the internet and here are a few of the snacking options I found:

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-Bagel or crackers with cream cheese
-Yogurt with fruit or granola
-Dried fruit and nuts
-Bran muffin
-Pretzels
-Cereal bars(these aren’t good for a meal though. I tried them for breakfast and was still hungry)
– Peanut butter sandwich
-Chicken or tuna salad(these both are really tasty and healthy).

Why You Need a Tablet in College

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From my very first day as a college student, it seemed like everyone had a tablet or iPad. At the time, I had no idea what they did or why they were necessary but after getting a tab of my own for my nineteenth birthday it’s impossible for me to imagine life without it. Here are a few reasons why you definitely NEED a tablet of some sort in college.

1) It’s tiny- I like to think of tablets as small laptops. They’re also faster. Carrying a tablet instead of a laptop is less of a hassle on your shoulders as well as being more convenient.

2) You can load books on them- this is my favorite part of my tablet. I am able to store both my assigned readings and my novels on one device. Granted this presents problems as I can sometimes be easily distracted but it’s great that I can work and relax with one item.

3) It increases your productivity- the
endless variety of Android apps ensure that I am as productive as I can be. If my to-do lists demand I’m able to read, draft essays and conduct research if I need to.

4) You can watch movies and TV shows- I’ve yet to meet a college student who isn’t obsessed with a show or three. Having a tablet allows you to keep up with your shows whenever you can. Needless to say, I divide my time between college and my Friends.

Do you have a tablet or iPad? What are your favorite apps for college?

Fashion Inspired by Elena Gilbert

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Elena has a super-simple approach to fashion. She dresses like she woke up, threw on the first items she saw and doesn’t care because she KNOWS she looks good. I love that her style is so casual but still looks great. Here are a few tips for getting her look as seen in season 1.

1) Keep it simple- Elena generally has little to no make-up and her hair is left straight and flowing. Who has time for getting dressed up when you’re being chased by your doppelganger ancestor’s old boy – toys (creepy dude in the hoodie, I’m talking about you).

2) Solid, dark colours- I don’t remember seeing Elena in any kind of patterned top. She chooses dark colours like purple and green and her tops are of one solid colour.

3) Bootleg jeans- Again, I think this is just her way of showing how amazing she looks without trying. When last did you see anyone with bootleg jeans? Elena pulls them off effortlessly.

4) Comfortable running shoes- when you’re walking around in graveyards or running away from vampires, you need shoes for comfort. While Katherine chooses to strut around in heels that she’s compelled from some poor soul, Elena chooses to wear flats and Chuck Taylors.

Fashion Inspired by Katherine Pierce

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Katherine believes that more is more. After all, she was with both Salvatore brothers.
When it comes to her style, Katherine chooses to dress for seduction rather than comfort. She’s been running away from her past for years but that’s no reason not to look great while doing it. Besides, it’s not like she’s paying for them. When you’re compelling for clothes you can use anything you want to.

1) Dark colours- like Elena, Katherine also chooses to wear dark colours. However her outfits have more of a mysterious edge to it. Katherine wears dark colours because they look great on her. Think rich shades of black, purple and blue.

2) Skinny jeans- Unlike Elena, Katherine prefer skinny jeans to bootleg. And why not? She looks amazing in them. As she’s pointed out to anyone who would listen, Katherine sees herself as the more attractive of the two. Katherine is almost always seen in skinny jeans.

3) Sexy and seductive – Katherine chooses low – cut tops to accentuate her…um, assets. All those years of repressing her wild ways during the Victorian era must have really drove her wild. Katherine also always has boots or high heels.

4) Accessorise- Have you ever seen Katherine with no accessories? No, I didn’t think you did. Katherine goes all out with her accessories and she looks great!

Katherine Pierce and Elena Gilbert may be played by the same person but their styles are miles apart.

The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow #1) by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow, #1)The Faerie Guardian by Rachel  Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found a copy of this book online on Smashwords. I’m not going to lie- I had incredibly low expectations simply because the book was free. Except it is absolutely amazing.I love the world-building. This is such a different book. It’s intriguing, it’s mysterious and it is impossible to put this book down! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I thought the romance between Nate and Violet was a bit forced but Nate was a sweet character.This may not deal with the same supernatural creatures but this is my new Harry Potter.

View all my reviews

Every Vow She Breaks (Who’s Watching Now #3) by Jannine Gallant

Every Vow She Breaks (Who's Watching Now, #3)Every Vow She Breaks by Jannine Gallant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love how each title in this series is from a song. This book deals with a broken vow and brings a variety of possible suspects. The reader is keep on edge throughout the novel. Claire has made a vow and broken it. And now she’s going to pay. But the question is who is the guy leaving her threatening messages? Her ex-husband? Her ex-boyfriend who she once thought she would marry? Her cheating ex who she was going to marry? Or is it just some crazy person who is obsessed with her? This book was both romantic and thrilling. I couldn’t stop until I found out precisely who was stalking Claire and every few seconds my top suspect changed. I loved this book. It was like an insane roller-coaster ride and I enjoyed every second of it. I will definitely be reading the other books in this series.

View all my reviews

5 Tips For Improving Your Productivity in College

My words to live by are “Work hard, party harder”. This is excellent advice especially if you’re in college. But how do you manage to be productive when you’re just not feeling it? Here are a few tried and tested tips to help you be as productive as possible,

1) Keep a constant routine- have a set time for sleeping and waking up. Try as much as possible to stick to this because it reduces the possibility of you falling asleep in class. Yes, we all want to sleep in class because it’s boring but that’s not very productive.

2) Pay attention in class. Always record the lecture- when I first started sleeping in class, it was totally accidental. First my mind would wander off, then I’d try to rest my eyes and then I would jerk awake. If you know you’re tired/lazy, record the lecture to listen to later. This works especially well for assignments since you can go back and play the recording to find out precisely what is expected of you. Also when you’re actually listening to the lecturer it’s easier to remember what’s being covered in class.

3) Write things down as soon as possible- use your school calender plus your syllabi (is that the plural of syllabus? I’m not entirely sure…) and note down important dates such as tests, projects, when campus closes and reopens as well as the last day for changing your courses. This will a) help you to see important dates and b) you’ll know when you’re busy with a pile of essays or tests.

4) Set your own deadlines- if you have your own deadlines preferably a day or two earlier than the actual due date you’ll get work done faster. You may also have enough time to get a tutor to edit your essay or cover last-minute concepts with your lecturer.

5) Start work as soon as you get it- I don’t mean write the essay or read 3 chapters for that test. Do something small just to make a tiny dent in your workload. List points for your essay or skim a chapter in the textbook. It makes things easier if you start off small. You’ll eventually be able to tackle the entire essay/textbook.

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