The Liebster Award!

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Hello everyone!

Thank you Darren @ The Arty Plantsman for this award! Darren is a talented artist who has an amazing green thumb. Make sure to check out his blog!

The instructions for accepting the award and passing it on are as follows.

  • Create a new blog post on your blog thanking the person that nominated you, link to their blog, and put in a graphic of the award.
  • Answer the questions that were provided, and then share some facts about yourself.
  • Create a new set of your own questions for others to answer.
  • Nominate others (around ten) and share your blog post with them so they can accept their award! This award is for bloggers with 200 followers or less.

If you could be one fictional character for a day, and actually live their life, – who would it be and why?

Do you guys remember this guy?

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Before I knew about Hogwarts or Sailor Scouts, I wanted to be Ash Ketchum and spend all day catching Pokemon.

Can you play a musical instrument? If so, which? If not – which would you most like to learn or like to listen to?

I can play the piano, clarinet, and guitar. However, it has been a while, and I am probably rusty :’) When I was small, I also had a brief stint with pipa lessons (pipa is a four-stringed Chinese instrument which is similar to a lute.)

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Are your friends (partners excluded) mostly of your own (biological) sex?

Yes, although my fiance is the bestest friend a girl can have :’)

If magic could make it possible, would you be interested in changing sex for a few days to see the world from another perspective? Do you think it would be a good idea if we all did this at least once in our life?

Absolutely!

Vampire movies/shows – do you prefer scary ones or romantic ones, and which? 

I am easily terrified. I mean, doesn’t this GIF give you the chills?

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As for romantic vampire shows: there was a phase when I binge-watched Vampire Diaries. I also binge-read the Vampire Academy series the summer after graduating from university.

Think of something good about yourself. Talk about it if you want, but I just wanted you to feel nice. 

Aw hahaha! Thank you Darren :’)

Now – provide some random facts about yourself.

  1. I hate socks but wear them for the sake of social conformity.
  2. I drink tea like an addict, the Chinese way (loose leaf, no sugar, no cream, no nothing.)
  3. But otherwise, friends say I am a banana (banana = yellow on the outside, white on the inside.)
  4. I try to smile all the time, because if I don’t, people think I look angry :’)
  5. My parents were born on the same day of the same year (no worries, they are not twins.)

I nominate these awesome folks for this award:

Stella @ Stella’s Journey

JW Martin @ Storeys of Stories

When I Reach You

The Readers Bay

The Book-Loving Pharmacist

Hope @ The Reader Addict

Here are my questions for you guys:

  1. What is your favourite hobby, other than reading or blogging?
  2. Would you rather be rich or famous, and why? (Choose one, not both)
  3. If you win the lottery today, what would you do with all that money?
  4. If you were a muffin, what muffin flavour would you be? (This was an interview question that my university professor got when she interviewed for her MBA program.)
  5. If you are on a deserted island and can only choose one non-essential item, what would it be?
  6. And of course, some interesting facts about yourself!
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The Fall Activities Book Tag

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Happy Friday, everyone!

This Wednesday I did the road test for my full driver’s license. When I woke up in the morning, it was like this outside:

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With all the snow on the road, I thought I was doomed. Oh, Canada :’)

Despite this, I PASSED!!!!!!

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Anyhow, even though there is snow in my corner of the universe, it is still fall (right!? RIGHT?!) Which means that I can still do…

Sunset chaser

Thank you to Beth @ Reading Every Night for tagging me! It was super fun to brainstorm the answers. Beth is very kind and sweet, and her blog is awesome, so be sure to check out her post, as well!

Apple Picking:
A book on your TBR that looks so great you can’t wait to get into it.

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Apparently this is a parody of Harry Potter! I was a big fan of Harry Potter growing up (and still am!) I also loved reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which tells the story of a fangirl of Carry On. I think this one is going to be right up my alley. 🙂

Corn Maze:
A book to get lost in.

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Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop! Just when I thought I got the hang of what was happening, there was another plot twist that blew me away.

Haunted Houses:
A book that scared you.

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To be honest, this one was a toss-up between Illuminae and Gemina. Both were freaky at certain parts of the book and gave me chills up my spine (as I walked my dog in pitch black at night while listening to the audiobook.)

Pumpkin Patch:
The latest book you picked up/purchased.

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I absolutely loved this new book by Jasmine Warga. It is such a feel-good story about love and family that made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Scenic Drives:
A book that is lyrically beautiful.

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Wow :’)

Pumpkin Carving:
A book you didn’t like and wouldn’t mind cutting up.

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Guys, this is going to be an unpopular opinion: There was so much hype around this book a few months back and I was so, so excited to read it. But I couldn’t deal with the cookie-cutter main characters who were attractive and shallow, and the romance that felt forced. The lack of research stuck out like a sore thumb. Without giving anything away, there was some drug research that went on in this novel: That is not how drug research is done. Nope. Nuh-uh.

Drinking Apple Cider:
A sweet book to curl up with.

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Such a cute story. I loved Simon and Blue through and through, from beginning to end.

Jumping in a Leaf Pile:
A book that reminds you of your childhood.

I couldn’t resist these nostalgia purchases ❤

Scary Movie Night:
Your favourite spooky read.

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Gillian Flynn is my newest obsession. After reading Gone Girl (which I absolutely loved, even more than the movie), I couldn’t resist reading another one of her works. Dark Places did not disappoint. It kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. And yes, there were a few moments when the hair at my neck stood on end.

Costume Party:
A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

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I absolutely loved the diverse cast in this novel. Molly is a self-proclaimed “fat girl” (we really don’t see much of that in fiction, do we?) She and her twin sister Cassie (who is gay)  are born via sperm donation and raised by two mothers. Did I mention that Cassie’s girlfriend is a Korean-American who is pansexual?

I tag these awesome people:

Zoie @ Whisked Away By Words

Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm

The Orangutan Librarian

Swetlana @ The Caffeinated Bookworm Life

Lashaan @ Bookidote

If you have already done this tag, or if you don’t like to do tags, (or if it is already winter where you live), no worries! On the other hand, if anyone wants to do this tag, go for it!

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What are your favourite fall activities? Is it snowing where you live? When does winter officially start?

Blogger Aesthetic Award!! (and an interesting cultural tidbit about China)

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

Did you have any bad luck today? Do you believe in Friday the 13th?

This got me thinking about the superstitions around numbers. I grew up with my Chinese family, and we have another whole set of “good” numbers and “bad” numbers. Unlike Friday the 13th which has biblical origins, Chinese superstitions about numbers are based on their phonetic pronunciation.

For example:

4 is a BAAAAD number, because it sounds phonetically like “die”, or “death” in Chinese. Therefore any number that contains the digit 4 is considered bad. 14 = “will die”, 147 = “we’ll die together”, and 14147 = “NO ONE LIVES”.

6 is a good number, because it sounds like “smooth sailing”. You know how 666 is a bad number in Western culture? This is actually a GREAT number in China.

8 is THE BEST NUMBER EVER, because it sounds like “get rich”. You may notice that Chinese people like to get married on, say, August 8, 2018, and that some of your Chinese friends may have 8’s in their emails or car license plate.

Now I’m curious to hear about the superstitions in your culture!

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You may recognize this tag from elsewhere on the blogosphere! After seeing amazing aesthetics by other fellow bloggers (Nyx @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books, Melissa @ The Bookish Wanderer, and Beth @ Reading Every Night), I was inspired to give this a go! (Definitely check out their aesthetics – they are awesome!!)

The Rules:

  1. Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  2. Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  3. Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  4. Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  5. Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

Tips:

My aesthetic:

I am a bit nervous about posting this one, because there are a few photos from my personal collection (including a photo of me and a photo of my dog!) I will let you guys guess which one is me 🙂

Blogger aesthetic award

Some of my favourite hobbies (other than blogging!) are featured in this aesthetic: Reading, sewing, writing, and pole dancing. I have an adorable (and spoiled) greyhound, Charles, and I am a big fan of positivity and perseverance.

Photo credits go to Pinterest and my iPhone 🙂

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How was your Friday the 13th? Do you believe in superstitions? Are there superstitions that are unique to your culture? What are your favourite hobbies?

If you love making aesthetics, or want to give it a try, you are welcome to do this tag!!

The Book Aesthetic Tag!

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Hello everyone!

Do you like making aesthetics? As of today, I am officially addicted. Like, seriously. I could just make aesthetics all day instead of… I don’t know, breathing?

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books inspired me to do this tag. Click on her name to check out the amazing aesthetics that she made!

Also, thanks for Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff for creating this tag! Michelle also created this AWESOME tutorial for making aesthetics – this post would not have been possible if not for her. Definitely check it out if you wanna learn how it’s done!

Rules

💛 Thank whoever nominated you (maybe you’re bitter that you have ANOTHER tag to do on top of the billions you already need to do (#relatable), still though. Someone thought of you. Be thankful. At least pretend to be
💛 Credit the creator of this tag (I feel so… weird, asking for credits?)
💛 There’s no limit of how many aesthetics you can make for a question, but think of your poor readers. Even me, an aesthetics hoe, might get tired after 50 aesthetics (I doubt anyone would make/share that many for this tag I just like to exaggerate \_(ツ)_/¯
💛 Make your OWN aesthetics, please don’t steal them from someone else. Also what’s the fun in that?

Favourite book of the year

The Name of the Wind

This is such a hard question to answer! BUT, if I have to choose, The Name of the Wind takes the cheese! It is such an imaginative story and I LOVE that magic actually makes sense in this book. Like, I could be convinced that I could put my laptop aside and do magic right now.

A character I relate to a lot

Molly

Hands down, Molly from The Upside of Unrequited! We are both quiet, sensitive and open-minded folks. AND we both love DIY! Why buy something when you can make it yourself?

A character I look up to

Lila

Lila from A Darker Shade of Magic is one of my favourite characters of all time! She is just so AWESOME and kicks butt wherever she goes!

An underrated gem

Captive Prince

The Captive Prince is one of my favourites series this year! I love how fast-paced, sexy, and mind-bending this novel is, and I am such a fan of Damen and Laurent ❤

A character who deserves more love

Cedric diggory

Cedric Diggory was my first book crush. The 12-year-old me buried my face in the pillow and cried for days when he……….. Hang on, hopefully that isn’t a spoiler anymore!? 😉 I reread the entire Goblet of Fire several times just so I could read more about this guy. *happy sigh*

An underrated OTP (One True Pairing)

(Hahaha…. am I the only one who had to google what that means? *embarrassed*)

Cho chang

While we are on the topic of Harry Potter, the 12-year-old me was also a HUGE fan of Cho Chang. And that’s because… well… I am Chinese, and back then, Cho Chang was the only Chinese character that I encountered in the books I read. I was like, “WHOA, CHINESE CHARACTER, SO AWESOME.” And since I loved Cho Chang and I loved Cedric and they loved each other – IT WAS MEANT TO BE. (Except it wasn’t……. 😥 )

All of these images are courtesy of Pinterest and Google. I do not own any of them. Compilation is done by the Fotor app.

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Do you like making aesthetics? What is your favourite book this year? Are you a Harry Potter fan, and if so, who is your favourite character?

AND if you love making aesthetics/want to try making aesthetics, consider yourself tagged!

100 Followers and The Versatile Blogger Award!

Happy Friday!

Do I REALLY have 100 followers? Like, really? (rubs eyes and refreshes page again, because part of me still thinks that I dreamed it all)

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I am honestly SO happy and SO grateful to all of you who read my posts! I remember when I first started this blog with one sad, lonely follower (myself). And in the beginning, I honestly couldn’t believe that anyone would want to read what I have to write. I was ecstatic when I got my first like and my first comment and my first handful of followers.

And you know what? My heart still leaps when I get a new WP notification. I love each and every comment I get from you guys! And each new follower makes me smile! Really! From the bottom of my heart!

I am so grateful for all you wonderful peeps and fellow bloggers. It’s amazing to talk to people from all over the world who like the same stuff as I do. And I love discovering new books and new ideas through you guys. I find myself learning new things and pushing the boundaries of my imagination every day.

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I also want to announce that I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award! Big thanks to cseveneaj (@Pen and Paper) and Rejoice A (@The Southern Girl) for nominating me 🙂 Please check out their blogs! Cseveneaj writes lovely poetry, and Rejoice A’s posts will make you smile.

Rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers of your choice.
  4. Link your nominees and let them know of you nomination.

Seven facts about me:

I have a greyhound (the dog, not the bus company) named Charles, like the Prince.

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I am one of those people who have to check the stove and my alarm a gazillion times before I go to bed, because I am terrified that my apartment will burn down overnight and I won’t wake up in the morning.

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I work with children who have cancer. Chemo and radiation are tough. But kids are so strong and resilient and brave, because they roll along with whatever life throws at them. They are amazing little humans.

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My fiancé finished medical school this year and is starting his residency in pathology. It’s perfect for him, because he doesn’t like talking to people. He’d rather do autopsies.

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My pole dancing friends call me fearless, because they see me trying things that could get myself seriously hurt. The truth is that I’m terrified each time, but I don’t let it stop me :’)

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I secretly love spending time alone.

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I was born in China and moved to Canada when I was 8 years old. On my passport, I am Canadian. But I am fiercely proud of being both. I love the stereotype that Canadians are nice, because it is so true. And did you know that the Chinese invented paper and printing? And gunpowder? Without China, we might not have books (or gun violence, for that matter.)

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I nominate the following peeps:

(Please check these blogs out, because they are so much more awesome than mine!)

Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

Sophie @ Blame Chocolate

Breezy @ Breeny’s Books

Annie Earnshaw @ Annie Likes Words

Stella @ Stella’s Journey

Melanie @ MN Bernard Books

Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer

Jeanne G’Fellers

Rachel @ Rachel Also Writes

I totally wouldn’t be surprised if you are on this list and you have already been nominated for this award before 🙂

Do any of you share the same quirks as I do? What are some interesting facts about yourself?

 

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag 2017

Hello everyone!

… Is it too late to do the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag? I mean, is still the middle of July, right? Which is still sorta-kinda middle of the year? Right!? Right!??

*Is totally late to the party*

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Ahem, anyway! I saw so many awesome people do this tag, and it looks like a lot of fun, so I thought I’d give it a roll.

Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2017

18336965This one is super hard, because there are so many books that I’ve read this year that I absolutely love. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga takes the cake, because it made me laugh and cry (and sometimes, both at the same time.) What I love about this book is that no one is perfect and there are no true villains. Everyone is complex and have a story of their own.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017

29939230Hands down, this goes to A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab (the last book of the Shades of Magic series). So much magic! So much imagination! I just LOVE the world of Kell and Lila and Rhy and Alucard! My favourite character has got to be Alucard. He is just SO AWESOME.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss is a notable mention. It’s an amazing story and an amazing world. But it’s just… so… long.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

32075662I MUST have been talking about reading The Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab since forever!! This is the sequel to This Savage Song, which I read and loved.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

18336972I am very excited for Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga, to be released in November 2017. I LOVED the writing style and the characters and the dialogue and just about everything in her debut novel Black Holes (see above).

(Oh how I WISH I could add The Doors of Stone, 3rd book of The Kingkiller Chronicle series, to this list. Release date is still TBA…)

Biggest Disappointment

32333174Oh boy. I think you guys must have heard me rant about this one already. My review is here.

Biggest Surprise

9305362The Captive Prince Trilogy by S. U. Pacat is a mastermind thriller and heart-stopping romance, all under the guise of a male/male slash fic. I had expected to read a trashy, brainless novel, but this was anything but.

Favourite New Author(s)

In clockwise fashion: Jasmine Warga, V. E. Schwab, and Patrick Rothfuss 🙂

Newest Fictional Crush & Newest Favourite Character

Kvothe, from The Name of the Wind, because he is just so darn smart and cool ❤

Book That Made You Cry

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Black Holes also made my fiancé cry, which is saying something, because, up to that day, I quote, “I have never cried reading a book.” HA 🙂

Book That Made You Happy

19547856Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is one of those books that you can’t put down. Although the subject matter is serious (coming out), the story is written with such wit and humour that I couldn’t help but smile and laugh.

Favourite Book to Film Adaptation

P00292H.jpgIn an effort to research my novel (cough, not procrastinating, cough), I re-watched the Sound of Music movie (1965). Did you know that this was based on a memoir titled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, by Maria von Trapp? I sure didn’t! The screenwriters did dramatize many elements of (the real) Maria von Trapp’s life, in the name of “artistic license.” Fortunately, many of the essential aspects of the movie are kept: Maria was raised by the convent, and the Captain was sought after by the German navy, and the Von Trapp family did become a prominent group of singers.

Just thought I’d share this fun tidbit 🙂

Favourite Post You Have Done This Year

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On Being An Introvert. I love this one because it came from my heart.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

222078The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich is the only actual, physical book that I’ve purchased this year (others are in eBook or Audiobook formats.) But this IS a beautiful book. There are pages and pages of coloured prints of all the examples that the author refers to in his retelling of art history.

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year

Oh boy, where do I even start!? I want to read some new YA fiction (like Dimple and Rishi, Eliza, and The Dark Duet) which I’ve read SO many rave reviews about. I also want to read some of the Good Ol’ Classics, like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, which I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read yet 🙂

What are your favourite books this year? Is there a book that disappointed you? What are you looking forward to reading? Do you have a favourite new character?

And I tag… YOU! 🙂

The Get to Know Me Tag!

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Hello everyone!

I was tagged by Vrinda over at A Bookish Human. In real life, I am a quiet person and not good at talking about myself, so let’s see how this goes! I am excited but at the same time nervous (runs off and hides in a corner.)

Vital Stats

Name: Sophia

Nickname: Lots! Most common: Sophie. Most creative: Soapy. (Yup, Soapy.) Others: Sophs, Soso, Sopho.

Birthday: January 7th

Star Sign: Capricorn

Occupation: I am a pharmacist (although sometimes I introduce myself as a “drug dealer” for fun and people take me seriously).

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Appearance

Hair Colour: Black

Hair Length: Varies. Now it is shoulder-length

Eye Colour: Brown

Best Feature: My smile, if that is a “feature”

Braces: No, my teeth are mostly in line, except four of my teeth jut out slightly like fangs! (I’m not a vampire! I swear!)

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Piercings: Ears

Tattoos: At one point I was thiiiiiis close to getting a tattoo but chickened out at last minute! If I were to get a tattoo, I would go for a small and simple one (like a tiny heart on my back). One day, one day 🙂

Right Handed or Left Handed: Right handed

Firsts

Real Holiday: What makes a holiday “real”? Back when I was 3 or 4 or 5 in China, I went to a beach with my mom. It was called “Bei Dai He”. Although I don’t remember much about it, I’d like to think it was an amazing vacation and that I was being a real darling 🙂

Best Friend: That would be Rebecca and Vera, who I met after I came to Canada. Rebecca and I went on to go to the same junior high and the same university program, and we still keep in touch today :’)

Award: Student of the Month back in grade 4. I was super proud of it!

Sport: Triple long jump. (I am terrible at team sports, but I loved track and field.)

Concert: Do junior high band concerts count?

Favourites

TV Shows: Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, House MD, Lost

Colour: Red

Songs: I love songs by Hedley, Sia, and Chopin. My current ear worm is Despacito by Justin Bieber. Did I mention that I met Justin Bieber before he got famous? My high school class went to see a play at Stratford (Bieb’s home town) and we saw a kid playing guitar and singing in front of the theatre, surrounded by a small group of people. He was pretty good. My friend took a video, and we watched it again several times later, “wait, isn’t that Justin Bieber?”

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Restaurant: Pretty much anything 🙂

Shop: Value Village. I love thrift shopping, the perfect combination of cheap and unique.

Books: I can’t name them all off the top of my head! The list would go on and on and on! Let’s start with My Heart and Other Black Holes, Everything Everything, and the Name of the Wind.

Shoes: I LOVE bright-coloured heels.

Currently

Feeling: Happy.

Single or Taken: As of a week ago… ENGAGED!!!!!! *Shouts from atop a mountain*

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Eating: Just finished dinner (spicy grilled chicken thighs, peppers, and spinach on a whole-grain bagel with baby tomatoes on the side) and a glass of homemade iced tea.

Thinking about: Writing this post!

Watching: Myself type 🙂

Wearing: DIY sleeveless top (DIY in the sense that it was once a T-shirt before I cut off the sleeves and collar), gym shorts, and slippers.

Future

Want Children: I love children. They are super cute and I’m sure they will bring fulfillment to my life. However, they seem to cost a lost of time, energy and money! How am I supposed to be a published writer and pole champion, while working full-time, if I have a kid (or two) on my plate? That being said, I do want children one day, just not today.

Want to be Married: Yup 🙂

Careers in Mind: Pharmacist (which I am now). I also want to be a published writer part time.

Where You Want to Live: West coast, with the mountains and the ocean.

Do you believe in

God: Depends on the day.

Miracles: Yes.

Love at First Sight: I believe that we can “click” with someone at first sight. There are people that we naturally get along with better than others. But love develops after years of commitment and mutual understanding.

Ghosts: No, but I am still terrified of them.

Aliens: Yes. There must be a planet out there with living creatures. But I am skeptical that they are anything like the aliens we imagine.

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Soul Mates: Yes.

Heaven and Hell: No. The world is not black and white and it doesn’t make sense to divide people into good or bad.

Kissing on a First Date: Hasn’t happened to me.

Yourself: I believe that I can do anything that I set my mind to 🙂

Tag

I want to tag these wonderful peeps:

Jackie @ Too Much of a Book Nerd

Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm

Lashaan @ Bookidote

Stella @ Stella’s Journey

Carl @ Scene from Afar

And YOU! Yes, you who are reading this post 🙂

Please don’t feel obligated to do this tag. If you have done this tag before, or don’t like to do tags, or are too busy to do this tag, that’s quite all right!

 

Cheers,

Sophie