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Thursday, June 25, 2015

June Favorites

June was my first month off of school, so I really had a lot of down time (which is why I revived this blog). To occupy myself, I immersed myself in random leisure activities (aka being a couch potato and eating). Therefore, I have quite a bit of favorites to share from this month!

Favorite TV Show: Law and Order SVU

I can't even tell you how OBSESSED I've become with Law and Order: SVU.  Hearing the duh-dun sound apparent in all the Law and Order episodes gets me all excited. Cable television usually has a marathon of reruns on several channels and the few I watched previously didn't really seem like my cup of tea. The only crime show I watched was NCIS, which I absolutely adored and SVU seemed to lack that continuous character development and quirks that I loved so much in NCIS. However, I recently started getting into SVU and I fell in love with the brilliant writing and superb filming. The harsh cases shed light on the atrocities that happen in front of our blind eyes. I love the way the show makes me feel so passionate for justice yet so betrayed by the justice system. Sometimes, this show makes me want to pursue a career as an ADA. Plus, the writers manage to make each episode unpredictable. Even if I tune in for the last 10 minutes of an episode, I'm always sucked in until the end. And there is actually some continuous character development, making me attached to some of the characters, who are portrayed by exceptional actors. Though I'm usually not a fan of somber shows, SVU is so worth the watch. If I don't convince you, SVU is even one of Taylor Swift's favorite shows...she even named her cat after Olivia!

Favorite Beauty Product: Loreal Lineur Intense Carbon Black Liquid Eyeliner

I've never been a huge fan of liquid liner, but the Loreal Lineur Intense Carbon Black Liquid Eyeliner I picked up on a whim has converted me. This product is so opaque and easy to apply. I love how the tip is flimsy, making it much easier to maneuver across my eyelid. This eyeliner is perfect for winging to make a cat eye as well. On my lazy days (which is almost every day), I find myself only applying this and leaving the house. The only drawback I find with this product is that it is definitely not waterproof and wipes away quite easily when just a little bit of water gets on your eyelids. Just make sure you don't wear this when you know you're going to cry. Though I have sweaty eyelids, this eyeliner still stays on pretty well throughout the day. 

Favorite Food: Taco Bell

My brain says no but my heart says yes

This is pretty embarrassing but I've become obsessed with Taco Bell. I never really ate there until this year, which is ironic because I live within a minute driving distance of one, Yet, now I find myself going there at least once a week. I realize their food is essentially toxic to your health but I really just can't help it. Their Doritos Locos Taco, Beefy Nacho Grillers...washing it down with a Baja Blast...mmm. Fake Mexican food heaven. I wasn't going to share this, but I've learned to be PROUD of my Taco Bell addiction. 
**Disclaimer: not recommending you eat Taco Bell as often as me...for your own health's sake***

Favorite Drink: Starbucks S'mores Frappucino

This heavenly concoction came out a while ago, but I still feel obligated to include it in my favorites because I'm so in love with it. It is a frappucino with a bottom layer of marshmallow whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, frappucino (coffee flavored?) topped with more marshmallow cream and finished with a graham cracker crumb sprinkle. Whoever invented this drink was a godsend because this drink brings tears to my eyes with every sip I take (only half joking). There was even a period when I ordered this at least 3x a week. It is on the sweeter side, which is great for my insatiable sweet tooth. If you love s'mores, I highly recommend you try this drink. It WILL change your life.

And that's my June Favorites! What did you love this month? 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

'Orange is the New Black' Is Back and NOT Better Than Ever

The start of my summer started on a rather exciting note with the release of Season 3 of "Orange is the New Black" (can we say FINALLY). Being the professional binge-watcher I am, I successfully finished the season within a week. Although each episode was interesting and humorous as ever, I felt the season culminated in a disappointing finale that left me going "That was it?". 

To be fair, I enjoyed each episode individually but I felt the overarching storyline of season 3 just didn't do it for me. I was especially disappointed my character and plot developments. To organize my scattered thoughts, I'm going to break down the season into the parts I liked/didn't like.

Piper and Alex

Though Piper and Alex may have been the protagonists in the first two seasons, they turned out to be the two most boring characters in the latest season. Not only has their relationship fizzled out, their storylines have as well. Piper's innocent persona transformed into an obnoxious ring leader, and Alex's paranoia over Kubra became overplayed and annoying. I missed the old Piper and I just didn't buy her turning into a twisted, cruel badass. Even actual badass Alex couldn't stand her anymore. Piper also seemed to have lost her moral compass and sanity, leading her to backstabbing, vengeance, and gangster-related leadership. However, I will concede that I thought the whole black market of prison-worn panties to be a pretty funny side plot. Yet, it still couldn't save from the yawns that occurred every time Piper was focused on the show (noticeably less this season than the past...thank goodness). 


This photo just does NOT do her justice
I already saw social media going "lesbian" for Ruby Rose before the season was even released. Therefore, I've been looking forward to her arrival for quite some time and was surprised by her delayed appearance (around ep. 4? can't remember) and even more surprised by her lack of character development. Sure, she was absolutely stunning and even Piper couldn't resist her, but I felt like Stella had so much potential to grow on the viewers until she was backstabbed by Piper and whisked away to Max (CURSE PIPER!). Other than a few snarky remarks, Stella's characterization wasn't developed whatsoever. She was just some mysterious, snarky, hot chick who Piper cheated with. I really hope she comes back for season 4 so we can learn more about her past.

The Latinas

Perhaps the most annoying ethnic group this season was The Latinas. Although their sassy retorts are always amusing fodder, I couldn't stand the attitudes of some of the women, especially Aleida (Daya's mom) and Gloria. I've never been a fan of Aleida because she is such a horrible mother and despicable human being but season 3 really took the cake for me. I scoffed at her self-profiting scheme masked by phony concern for her pregnant daughter's well-being and was particularly mad when she told Mendez's mom the baby died. I get it was her trying to right a wrong with her daughter but the finale clearly showed it was the wrong move when Cesar got busted by the DEA. Who knows where Daya's baby will end up? In addition, Gloria's self-entitled attitude was beyond aggravating the entire season. Whether it was her assertion in the kitchen to her selfish response to Sophia, she was (excuse my french) a crazy bitch this season. I'm glad Red eventually took over the kitchen. The fact that Sophia had to suffer so brutally due to Aleida and Gloria's juvenile personalities made me dislike them even more. On the other hand, I absolutely loved Daya this season and my heart broke for her when Bennet (damn you Bennet!) left her. I also felt bad for the air-headed Flaca, who has shown some aspiration (poorly thought out ones but still admirable) in the prison. 

Litchfield Takeover
The worst part of this entire season was the Litchfield takeover. I'm glad the prison was saved, but I couldn't stand the new correctional officers (other than the new counselor) and corporate overhauling. All of the new employees were so idiotic that I couldn't stand watching them at some points. Pennsatucky's rape angered me so much and I felt so bad for the character I used to hate so much. I hope that correctional officer meets a sufficient punishment in the next season. And when Sophia was being beaten by those women, the female CO who did nothing but run to Caputo was so idiotic...I wanted to slap her through my computer screen. I genuinely felt bad for the former employees and Caputo, who is morally conflicted. Though I understand where they were coming from, I'm sad they all left and hope they will come back for their old jobs. 

The finale itself was filled with little plot twists that didn't surprise me as much as I assume the directors were hoping for. For instance, the only unpredictable event was when Piper turned on Stella (and of course, Stella turning on Piper before...which made me believe their relationship was a lie). It made me mad because it meant we might never see Stella again and Piper has turned into the cruel bitch I never thought she'd be--and in a bad way. Possibly the only loose end I look forward to is the fate of Alex, who has been tracked down by presumably one of Kubra's spies, who was hired as a CO. The stupidest plot turn in the finale was the gaping hole in the fence, allowing all the prisoners to a seemingly confined lake. That scene was so anti-climatic and disappointing. The ending scene, which showed A LOT of new prisoners, also didn't have the POW I was looking for. I could honestly care less about doubling the cast of this show. If anything, it makes me mad because I don't want to care about any more characters. But season 4 might prove me wrong.

Overall, I was disappointed by the stupidity of some of season 3's plot turns (like Norma's "cult"). I did love the different back stories, but OITNB lost a little bit of its charm and ingenuity that were apparent the past two seasons. I hope season 4 will be much better.

What did you think of the new season?

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Blog Got Plastic Surgery and a New Identity

I'm really sorry for disappearing off the face of the earth the past year or so. In addition to my empty chamber of blog post ideas, a lot of eventful things happened this year and my blog was sort of pushed aside/forgotten. Nonetheless, I'm back with an all new look and name! 

To be fair, I never really gave much effort into the design of my blog. It was always a template of which I customized only the color scheme and fonts. Creative, I know. But lately, I've been really trying to go for a more aesthetic design and although it's not perfect, I am content with what I have so far. I had to do a lot of Google searches and explore the world of CSS and HTML (what is this evil yet magical sorcery and why do people study this?!) to come up with what I have now. 

In addition, I also changed my blog name. I was never content with the vague "my endless imagination" and decided to play a little rhyme with "Em's Gems". I hope this doesn't come across as too self-absorbed, as if everything I own is a gem. I just wanted a catchy title and only so many things go together with my name. However, if you can think of something better, please comment below. I'd love to hear other people's ideas. My URL also changed to I cringe at the thought of those two grammar errors in my URL but what can you do. Sigh. 

Something else I've pondered is the direction I want my blog to go in. I generally like to keep things private because that's just who I am, but I do want to write less beauty/tv reviews and more personal/lifestyle posts. I personally love reading personal blog posts because it makes me feel closer to the blogger, even if I never met them. Plus, more personal blog posts might serve as a catharsis for my emotional self. What do you guys think? Yay or nay? 

I'm so glad to be back in the blogosphere and can't wait to write whatever rambling I can think of. For anybody who is reading my blog, I hope you enjoy it :).