Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I've Been Listenting To - Summer 2016

Hey everyone! As much as I hate to admit it, summer is coming to a close soon. This summer has been pretty fun for me (stay reading for some posts on Hawaii) and I hope you all have had a good time. I've also been obsessed with Spotify this summer, so I wanted to share what music I have been listening to this summer.

1. Me Before You soundtrack

This soundtrack contains:
                                         Numb by Max Jury
                                         Happy With Me by HOLYCHILD
                                         Unsteady (Erich Lee Gravity Remix) by X Ambassadors
                                         Til the End by Jesse Ware
                                         The Sound by The 1975
                                         Surprise Yourself by Jack Garratt
                                         Don't Forget About Me by Cloves
                                         Photograph by Ed Sheeran
                                         Not Today by Imagine Dragons

This soundtrack is amazing. My favorites off of it are the songs Not Today, Happy With Me, and Surprise Yourself. I absolutely loved the movie, but the soundtrack has actually been my anthem the whole entire summer. There are some sadder songs because of the plot of the movie, but the upbeat songs are pretty great and always manage to get me into a good mood.

2. Kings of Summer by Ayokay feat Quinn XCII

This song has the same name as a movie called 'Kings of Summer' but there is no affiliation. The song has a nice beat and has an indie/chill sound to it. This song is perfect for nights where you want to listen to some nice, summer-y songs with friends.

3. Francisco by Swim Deep

I feel like I've mentioned this song before (I've definitely mentioned this band) but I can't explain how much I love it. This band can be categorized with bands like the Wombats, and the 1975.

4.  Migraine, House of Gold, and Ride by Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots might be one of my favorite groups just because they have such a unique sound. Migraine is a song I a lot because it has a catchy beat but also has an underlying meaning which you can take as you want. The other two songs are very different sounding to each other but in all have lovely, talk-worthy lyrics.

5. The Ride Album  by Catfish and the Bottleman

According to Spotify, this band is similiar to the bands Circa Waves, Swim Deep, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines, and Wolf Alice. I only started listening to CATB recently and I know this album has had some mixed reviews by long time fans, but honestly I love it.

Question: What songs/ bands have you been listening to this Summer? Comment below!

ALSO: This was my 100th post on the blog! Look how far in 3 years this blog has come :)

                                                            Christina Madeleine 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Hey everyone! So, I was supposed to have a different post up last week about a reflection on my exchange, but I've decided to hold off a bit on it. Today is a book review on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is the newest addition to the Harry Potter series. If you don't know, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I reread the whole series this year in preparation for the new book, and I've seen each movie over 10 times each. When I heard there was a new book coming out which is the script to the play in London, I was skeptical but excited. I am always on Pottermore (the official Harry Potter website) to keep up on what's going on in the wizarding world. JK Rowling posts some small blurbs and stories based off characters that we never really finished learning their backstories (i.e Remus Lupin, Lily, Snape, etc). I ordered the newest Harry Potter book while I was on vacation, and then it arrived the day I got back and I was super excited despite the bad reviews. Now, it's my turn to talk about it because I am slightly disappointed with the book.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Thoughts: (WARNING: vague mentions of spoilers)

First of all, this book is not written by JK Rowling but is approved by her because she has said that she is done with writing Harry Potter books. She wrote all seven of the incredible novels and then The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Hogwarts A History, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She probably wants to move on from the series because if she ever gets new ideas she can just post them on her website. I am going to say this again, but this book is the script to the play because not everyone can go see the play.

Secondly, the old characters have no depth to them. Ron Weasley, this mighty character in the series, has his personality literally stripped of him and he's like that uncle that just jokes around all the time and tells lame jokes. Growing up has not suited Harry well at all because he's stressed all the time and he's not living life to the fullest. I understand that all these characters had to grow up, but the author got rid of key things that would keep the characters similar to the way they were as children. How can three characters who had an adventurous childhood want to settle down and do the same repetitive thing every day? I do like Hermione still, but she doesn't seem as bright as she used to be.

There are quite a few new characters such as Rose Granger-Weasley (who is literally on 10 pages and then she disappears for the rest of the book), Hugo Granger-Weasley, Lily Potter, James Potter, Albus Severus Potter, and Scorpius Malfoy. Of these children, the only two the story fully revolves around are Scorpius and Albus. Unlike his father, Scorpius is a character you learn to love right away. 

Thirdly, one of the parts of the book I loved was the mentions of Severus Snape, and Cedric Diggory. In HP 4 and 5, Cedric is mentioned a lot, but then he kind of is a memory for the rest of the series. I liked that they become 'relevant' in the new book, even if it's just a small amount of the time. 

Lastly, there is barely any point in the plot. It's very similar to the whole "teenager gets mad at parents so they decide to rebel' genre of books. I honestly think that if this book was written like a novel and not like a play, there would have been more room for details of what happened in those 19 years instead of just jumping forward. I really don't want to spoil anything but there are huge plot holes involving characters like Albus Severus Potter and Bellatrix Lestrange. The timeline does not add up with the old books, which makes me question how much the author worked to make sense of what happened. 

It hurts my heart that I have to be disappointed in a Harry Potter book because I never stop talking about the series. I want to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, but I am so upset with the book. I feel like I would have been happy without this book, just because there was some type of closure at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I still think people should read the book because it's another insight to the Wizarding World that I've grown to love. 

Un-answered Questions that I have still:

Did Ginny not have any say in naming the kids? Really... Albus Severus, Lily, and James.

How old is Professor McGonagall?

How did Ron end up getting the job he did?

Where are all of Ginny and Ron's other siblings?

Sorry if this spoiled some parts of the book. I really tried not to say too much. I am sure that people will love the book, but I just found it kind of upsetting and disappointing at some parts. 

Questions: Have you read this book yet? Do you want to read this book? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?

                                                       Christina Madeleine


Friday, August 12, 2016

Bands and Concerts: June 2016

Hey everyone! Obviously, I have a lot of posts to do considering I didn't update ALL SUMMER (please someone yell at me for that). I am going to call this month basically the month of writing posts that I should have done months ago. In June I went two concerts which were both GA (general admission) and I wanted to share my experience and some pictures. Both concerts were in Manhattan.

June 15:  The Neighbourhood (the NBHD) @ TERMINAL 5
Opening Acts: Kevin Abstract, and MOTHXR

*my pictures for the opening acts are pretty blurry, so I will just write about them*

Kevin Abstract : I previously didn't know who he was because usually indie bands pick groups and singers that aren't super popular to open up for them. I tried to listen to his music beforehand and it's pretty good in my opinion. He sings alone but he has 10-12 people on stage frozen the whole entire set. Some people had bandanas over their faces or wigs, and they were holding roses and flags.
His soundcloud is and he is also on Spotify.

Mothxr: I couldn't really hear this band very well when I was at the concert because the venue I was at was very loud and super crowded (I'll get to that). If you watched Gossip Girl, Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey) is the main singer of this band.

The Neighbourhood: I love the Neighborhood, and have since 2013. They are one of the few bands I would listen to on repeat when I was in middle school. Their sound has changed a bit since the album I Love You (which contains the song Sweater Weather). One of my favorite songs by them is R.I.P 2 My Youth. If you look at some of past post I have definitely mentioned them before. Jesse Rutherford is one of my favorite people and being super close to him was actually amazing. If you look him up, he's currently dating Devon Lee Carson and their relationship is flawless (get the pun  if your a fan of this band).

About the concert:   This was my second concert at Terminal 5 (my first was was the 1975). This venue holds 3,000 people and it gets super crowded. My friend and I managed to push ourselves about three people away from barricade. The NBHD took so long to come out that people were passing out because everyone is packed together like sardines. If you are within the first five people from barricade, the security guards pour water in your mouth to prevent fainting. It wasn't my first concert, so I have gotten pretty good at being able top push myself to the front of venues with GA, but I wouldn't recommend it for people who want to do it for their first concert. ALSO there were peoples' hair all over me because we were that close. I recommend tying your hair up if you are going to go to a GA concert with over a thousand people. Also, I wore dark eyeliner and it was running down my face by the end of the concert because of the heat.

June 18: Swim Deep @ Webster Hall
Opening Act: Vista Kicks

Vista Kicks: First thing I have to say is that this band is going to be great. They are a group from California made up of four guys. They have a pretty good sound, they have a small album called Chasing Waves and the two songs I really liked from that album are 'Chasing Waves' and 'Mona Lisa'.  After the show my two friends and I got to meet the band and I got their autographs.

Swim Deep: This was my second time seeing Swim Deep live. The first time I saw them was when I saw the 1975 because they were the opening act. After that concert I became obsessed with the band and my favorite songs by them are Soul Trippin, King City, Namaste, and The Sea. They are a British band and have two albums called 'Where the Heaven Are We' and 'Mothers'. To see them, the tickets were only $15. My friend was able to meet Cavan from Swim Deep and take a picture with him, and the three of us were able to meet Tom. There are five people in the band.

About the concert:  This concert took place at the Studio @ Webster Hall. This venue is made up of three parts, there is the 18+ part where Jack Garratt was performing at the time, the club for 21+, and lastly the studio is for 16+. When we walked into the studio we were able to walk right up to the stage and stay front row because it was a very small room with a bar and some space for people to watch the band. In the end, I believe there was about 75 people in the room. It was so relaxed because the crowd was full of good people. After concerts at the studio, you have about an hour to meet the bands that performed and buy merch or just talk to them. I was able to talk to Vista Kicks and they were super cool (afterwards they liked my picture on Instagram, and one of the members followed my friend). I would definitely go see them again because they have a good sound. Swim Deep is definitely going to become more popular, and they give a good show.

Questions: Have you gone to any concerts this Summer or any at all? Who do you want to see perform?

                                                         Christina Madeleine


Monday, August 8, 2016

Guest Post: The Vienese Cure

 Hey everyone! My friend Nina went to Central Europe for nine days and wrote a post on it. She wanted to write for This Fashion Girl, but you can also check her post out at Her blog is starting off, and she is a very good writer and I think you should follow her for future posts.

The Viennese Cure

    I often hear the phrase, “that changed my life,” get thrown around in conversation as 
much as like or literally,but tend to ignore its inappropriately casual use. 
After this summer break, however, that phrase carries much more weight - my family’s 
whirlwind excursion to Central Europe genuinely changed my life. This may sound a bit 
cliché but, over a period of 9 days, I discovered my passion, found my ground, and learned 
the secret to happiness.
    In July, my family and I went with Adventures By Disney to the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria. In Prague, we visited famous sites like the Astronomical Clock and the Charles Bridge. Surrounded by the Alps in Berchtesgaden, we hiked up the mountains and saw the old towns and majestic castles below. Finally, in Vienna, we walked along the Ringstraße and marveled at the beautiful city brimming with rich history and culture. Although these awe-inspiring sights alone are enough to spark change in a person, it was my observations and experiences that made my vacation transformative.
    Over the years, I’ve changed my dream job more times than I can count. I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer, a chef, a screenwriter, and, for about three days, a lawyer. Despite this rotation of varying professions, a few things have always remained true: a love of travel and exploring unknown places, a passion for getting to know and making friends with all types of people, and a steadfast motivation to learn new things. After telling my parents on the first night of the trip that our tour guides, Giselle and Andy, have the most amazing jobs in the world, my life goals took a sudden and major turn. I left behind all other notions of future profession and decided that I want to be an Adventures By Disney tour guide when I am older. Imagining I was in a cartoon, I pictured the clouds over my head rolling away and the sun shining down on me. Thinking about who I am and the things I have always loved and desired, this career path seemed to make the most sense. In that moment, my future seemed clearer than it ever has, which is the greatest possible breath of fresh air for an anxious teenager like me.
    Growing up as an only child with parents who have full-time jobs, I’ve learned how to entertain myself. This independence mixed with a very active imagination has, in the past few years, turned out to be a disquieting combination. Instead of living in the here-and-now, my mind is often off in a daydream. However, after my sudden change of ambition, I became much more focused and snapped out of my fantasy world. Rather than dreaming about how great my life could be, I started taking steps to better myself, like learning German online and going on college tours. I’ve moved from wishing good things would come my way, to working to make my dreams a reality. Armed with my newfound motivation, I feel ready for all that life throws at me.
    Many have written books, articles, movies, etc. on man’s never-ending search for happiness. Although some will disagree, I believe the Viennese have uncovered the secret to happiness in the proverbial feeling of gemütlichkeit. A German word with no direct English translation, it is often compared to our feelings of coziness and contentedness. Gemütlichkeit describes the atmosphere of the famed Viennese coffee shops, a social spot where one could meet and chat with friends or just sit quietly alone for hours on end. However, gemütlichkeit can be felt on the streets of Vienna as well. Coming from New York City, I feel the need to always be rushing somewhere or be stressed about something. It is the opposite in Vienna - everyone strolls through the small streets and alleyways, window shopping and admiring the old buildings. I could tell that even the locals had the time to stop and smell the roses. Because of this laid-back lifestyle, there exists a high quality of life in Vienna. Although I bought souvenirs on my trip, the most valuable thing that I’ve taken back is the gemütlichkeit mindset, something that I think will be especially helpful during stressful times in the school year. It’s important to remember that, despite how many things you have on your to-do list, you always have time to relax for a minute and adjust your mood so you never lose that gemütlichkeit feeling of contentedness - that’s the Viennese cure for an unhappy life of chaos and stress.
    Although I may change my dream profession some years down the line or one day snap back into my habit of daydreaming, my Central European vacation has helped to focus my thoughts, motivate me for my future tasks, and teach me how to go about my life in the most productive and fulfilling way possible. In addition, I’ve learned about fascinating histories and cultures, and saw some of the world’s most beautiful sights. Above all, this trip has instilled in me a beckoning sense of adventure and a curiosity for what life has waiting for me just around the corner. 

 Nina's Instagram: @n.curran (you can see more pictures like the ones above + other things because she lives in New York like me)

Have you ever been on a trip like Nina's? Comment below 

                                                           Christina Madeleine



Blog Design Created by pipdig