• MEMEBOX review •

• MEMEBOX •

//packaged with bright pink shredded paper + three free sample items//

//packaged with bright pink shredded paper + three free sample items//

[pronounced me-me-box]

…is a frabjous online store for Korean beauty products. One of the most adorable places on the internet with an entire series dedicated to products that tell you what they are. You’ll see what I mean.

It’s essentially a hug in a box that will bring you incredible amounts of happiness when you open it.

• eyeliner •

I purchased a brown eyeliner from the I’m Series.

It glides on very smoothly and contains a lasting power not of this world. Or country. Whichever. I wore it from work to my church’s annual fall festival and it didn’t budge from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.!

• MEMEBOX review •

One end is the eyeliner and the other is a little angled brush to help you wing it out but I find that that doesn’t really work. But, honestly, if you’re looking for a no-smudge, all-day eyeliner, this is it. And it works for what I need, so I’m really pleased! Also there is a built in sharpener + that’s simply the bomb diggity.

 

• face masks •

• MEMEBOX review •

I bought…

this adorable sheep mask

this soothing dragon mask

this precious panda mask

this moisturizing otter mask.

My mom, sister, and I found these incredibly refreshing and soothing. The next day, I noticed that my skin looked dewy and very healthy after using the sheep mask. It was a subtle change, but appreciated and perfect for an inexpensive pamper!

• get 10% off your first order •

Click HERE and pamper yourself! The most expensive part is the shipping, but if you spend a certain amount, you’ll get that free and I promise you’ll enjoy what you purchase. MEMEBOX is perfect for Christmas, birthday, and just-because gifts!

For best results, enjoy with your mom, little sister, homemade apple pie, whipped cream, + the first viewing of ELF for the season.

IMG_20151113_191712580 • MEMEBOX review •

Love always,

Rana || xoxo

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Tomorrowland: A Review

Note: There are spoilers contained in this post. If you don’t care either way, keep reading. 😉

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I’ll be honest. I saw Disney had a hand in this and immediately kind of looked the other way, hoping something better would come along for me to see.

But my little sister was dying to see it, my cousin from Canada (GUYS, THE STEREOTYPES ARE TRUE. CANADIANS ARE VERY POLITE.) and a cousin from Naples came over, so we planned an outing and went to see this.

I was (mostly) impressed but mostly by the “bad” guy, who wasn’t so bad as apathetic, which is arguably the worst kind of bad there is. (Contradictory? Maybe.)

If you’re fuzzy on the plot line, basically this girl finds a pin and whenever she touches it, it transports her to another world. She runs into a man who had lived there for some time and he wants nothing to do with her or that world. But a series of unfortunate events (read: robots try to kill them) leads them both into that world where they find out that Earth is going to end.

The man, Frank Walker (played by George Clooney), comes to believe that the girl, Casey Newton (played by Britt Robertson), is special and can save the world.

Pros

>> David Nix (played by High Laurie) says something that really hit me. A transmitter from Tomorrowland is sending a signal to Earth with a message of death and destruction. He meant it to be a warning, but when Newton says they need to send a message of hope instead, he tells a striking truth: it doesn’t matter what you say. People are so obsessed with the end. He sent a warning message, but people ate it up and turned it into fantasy. They turned it into a t.v. series, movies, books — entertainment. They resigned themselves to it because they thought, “what can I do? Nothing. So let’s all do nothing together and laugh ourselves to the end.”

Why? Because “it requires nothing of them today.” People will sit in their comfortable apathy believing they can do nothing and they’re cool with that. And when the end of the world comes, they’re throw their hands up and say they couldn’t have stopped it anyway.

That was the salvation point of the whole movie for me because it was so truthful. We turn into comedy and entertainment that which we “can’t” change so we can accept it when it comes with a numb and comfortable apathy.

>> I’m conflicted on characterization. They did a relatively good job developing the characters, but I felt like Newton was a little too optimistic for me to entirely believe. She was fun though. Walker was a bit of a stereotypical grumpy old man who was too optimistic once, and comes to believe in good again because of the undaunted happy-child who shows up on his doorstep one day and turns his life inside-out. Nix was kind of brilliant, but still felt a little lacking (what motivation did he have to shoot [censored]?).

>> The concepts were pretty neat! I really enjoyed some of that sci-fi stuff going on. If you could learn what day and time you were going to die, would you want to know?

Cons

>> They kind of explain everything. It might have been for context, but it didn’t leave me wondering anything really.

>> They ended in a kind of abrupt way, but it wasn’t a cliff hanger sort of way. It was more like, “we have room for another movie, but it would make no difference to you if we followed up with it because you know all our secrets and the gist of what happens next.”

Bottom line: I would recommend going to see Tomorrowland! I wouldn’t say for you to go in expecting anything out of this world (my pun may be lost on those who haven’t seen it *laugh/gag/cough* Ahem.) but it’s entertaining for a couple hours and David Nix’s words do get you thinking: what am I doing to contribute to this apathy? Am I comfortable with that? Is there anything I can do to change it? If so, will I?

It’s definitely one of the rare Disney-involved films that I don’t despise and would recommend. 🙂

God bless!

Rana

The Avengers: Age of Ultron: A Review

Note: This may be an incoherent one-sided “discussion” rather than a review, but I’ve got another speech and debate tournament coming up next week, loads of crap to get done, SAT’s tomorrow, and a dinner to go to tonight. (Prayers would be appreciated.) So if I seem a little off, it’s just because I’m a distracted French fry drowning in a cup of tea (basically, I shouldn’t be here).

No-Spoilers-Version: Bottom Line: It was wonderful. Go see it.

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When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers to reassemble. As the fate of Earth hangs in the balance, the team is put to the ultimate test as they battle Ultron (James Spader), a technological terror hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they encounter two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.

– The first review that popped up on Google when I asked for a summary of AoU –

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Financial Issues I have a theory. I think that the citizens of the Marvel universe secretly hate the Avengers. I mean, let’s face it: thousands of them just lost their (a) homes, (b) jobs, (c) probably a friend or family member, and (d) all their money. On top of that, I’m sure a lot need therapy. I’m guessing Stark is still rich because whatever governments in the Marvel universe don’t make him pay for the destruction caused justify that by saying, “Oh, well, you’ve just saved the world. Again. So it’s on the house.” And promptly raise their taxes. I’d really love to see all the Marvel universe monetary statistics and how they deal with their financial crises. Aside from that, I have to say — I really did enjoy Age of Ultron. And, you guys know me: I’m the queen of skepticism. The trailers looked like just another typical Marvel movie. But I felt that the characterization was almost 100% on point (while I’m more okay with Bruce and Natasha, considering Clint’s personal life [which, I have to say, was not expected and absolutely wonderful], I still don’t think it’s going to work out and I liked Nat better when she wasn’t interested in people). Back Story

They did a phenomenal job with showing this. We can talk about their pasts all day long, but until we see it, it’s not Humanization This was pretty much perfect. Clint actually talked, the Hulk made facial expressions other than angry, Tony is… Tony, Thor likes to party, Steve likes to dance, and Natasha used to be a ballerina or something. I loved that Ultron wasn’t just metal. He could think for himself. He had emotions. He got angry. He apologized for pushing Andy Serkis (that was him, wasn’t it?) down the stairs. He brought up and quoted the Bible. As a Christian, I was a bit wary of that because I don’t like to see it misused. But it really reminded me of when Jesus was in the desert, tempted by Satan. Even the devil can quote scripture. So I think that, by using those Biblical references, we see a bit of a sick parody in Ultron’s character. He knew he was doing wrong through his means of promoting “peace.” He could think. He wasn’t an idiot robot. Furthermore, he forgot words and made jokes. His verbal characterization was pretty well done. SPEAKING OF WHICH… “Language!” Captain America/Steve Rogers, that was amazing. Age of Ultron ticketsHumor I love humor as much as the next sarcastic weasel. But I felt like they could have done with a little less. It was a darker film that dealt with human problems and bad robots. But they tried to lighten it up with (almost) cheesy humor too frequently. Personally, I felt like it was unnecessary, but I laughed so it served its purpose. Twins I’m a sucker for twins. I love them. (AND IT’S WRONG TO SEPARATE THEM, MARVEL.) And I felt like these two weren’t just thrown in there. They had a purpose. Honestly, I think it’s incredible that the cast of characters was so well balanced. I didn’t think anyone was lacking a part and they all played theirs well. I’d definitely watch this again (not a hundred times, but again). And when I do, I might update this because I feel like I left out a lot. 😛 God bless! Rana P.S. I’m still working on another blog name.

The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay: Part 1: A Review

SPOILER WARNING. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay: Part 1. I read the books a while back and don’t remember if it followed the book closely, but I feel that it had a huge impact.

The first two books/films were necessary in setting the scene for the third installment in the Hunger Games trilogy/series and definitely had impact, but this one just seemed like a major wake up call. As I watched, I kept seeing parallels between that world and ours.

I’ve written about it before – we read to see ourselves. And I definitely saw us.

  • I saw us in the pain and hunger – not so much for food as much as hope. Hope is something we lack so much in today’s day and age. We’re constantly being bombarded by noise and products – we’re constantly wrapped up in the superficial. Things that make us happy for a fleeting moment. But in the long run, we’re left empty. Our energy has been sucked dry by nothing and we allowed that to happen.
  • I saw us in the murder. In the scene where rebels were shot, all I could think of was ISIS. You either convert or you die. You either do as President Snow wants or you die. Seeing any connections?
    • Is it true faith if it’s forced? Is it true patriotism if it’s done out of fear?
  • I saw us in the massacres and death. The hospital in District 8. I thought of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta tending to the wounded, dying. And now, as I think about it, the Rwandan Genocide. Guys, we’re all equally human. But, I suppose, not equally humane.
  • I saw us in Peeta’s (or was it Peeta’s? 😉 ) urging for peace (peace or submission?). I think it was too late for peace. I think there does need to be a rebellion before we can attain a long-lasting impact with positive effects. People are dying, there’s injustice, morals grew corrupt and that’s what we need to combat.
  • I saw us in the relationship issues. Okay, I promise this isn’t going to be cheesy. I try to steer clear of that. Oh, and please get over the Team Gale and Team Peeta spat.
    • Gale + Katniss = mutual need for survival. Take away the mutual need. What have you got? Maybe two friends. Maybe not. The glue between them was a recipe of one part need and one part time (they had a lot of history – supporting each other, feeding their families, etc.). I don’t know that their ideals were always the same. But maybe more on that another time.
    • Peeta and Katniss, however, I believe embodied true love. Love in the most realistic sense. They’re not a Cinderella and Prince Charming. They’re both messed up and they both are willing to give up their life for the other. That’s love.
  • I saw us in the corruption. The people have less power than the government and that’s always a recipe for disaster. As the old quote by Lord Acton goes, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I don’t think I need to expound on this point.
  • I saw us in the selflessness and sheer humanity. When we’re suffering, when we’re all stripped of our titles, riches, popularity points – everything – we see what we really are. We’re either monsters hungry for death or we’re people fighting for the ones we love.
    • Katniss isn’t a very likable character, but she embodies certain ideals we all want. When it comes down to it, she’s courageous – scared, but going to push forward. She loves – not perfectly, but selflessly. Oh, and she can sing. I’m so jealous of Jennifer’s voice.
  • I saw us in Peeta. Though he was tortured, he still loved, he still risked it all. And, just as in the book (if I remember correctly), the longer he was in the enemy’s clutches, the worse he looked. It’s so true with us. Smoking could be an enemy. Negative thoughts could be an enemy. While not all of our demons have physical effects, they all have internal ones. They all hurt us ’till they get down to our souls and, if we’re not strong enough to destroy them, they’ll destroy us.

I hope that was comprehensive and left you with something to think about (as is always my hope).

A huge thanks to Suzanne Collins for her time and effort in writing The Hunger Games trilogy as well as to the whole film team in bringing it to life. You can read about death and imagine it, but until you see it, it’s hard for it to have as large of an impact. I cannot wait for the last installment in this film series. The books were amazing with a message to match and now the films are doing a great job in helping us visualize horror and truth.

Listen. I can’t get enough. I think I’m going to buy this when it comes out tomorrow on iTunes.

Don’t forget to like, comment, rate, and follow!

God bless!

Rana

The Maze Runner: A Review

Hey, you!

Just a heads-up: this post may or may not contain spoilers concerning the film, The Maze Runner. You have been warned. 😉

Disclaimer: I didn’t finish the book before I saw the movie. I know! I’m such a loser. *hides face in shame*

My dad took my sister and myself to see The Maze Runner last night. I really, thoroughly, enjoyed it. There were several parallels between the film and our lives that I noticed throughout the screening. To me, it was sort of a wake up call and a shot of hope. Let’s take a look at a few different scenes and what I took away from them, shall we?

The Elevator

My dad actually pointed this out. He said that he found The Elevator sort of represented life and death. Before we were born, we came from another place. We don’t remember it (praise the Lord). We know nothing about this strange new world and we’ve got to make the best of it. As for death, if you’re religious, you believe you go to another place when life here is over. It, too, will be a strange new place.

Thomas’ Curiosity:

This section can be split into two parts:

1) We can either live or we can exist. Most of those boys in the Glade were content to be there. They were comfortable (and afraid of angering the Grievers which kept them from making any risky moves).

But then Thomas came. He wanted out. He was scared and uncomfortable, but he was willing to risk a lot to actually live while the others were simply existing. Thomas showed them a new way of life.

And I think a lot of us are those other boys. We’re comfortable. We go to school, we do our work, we hang out. That’s it. Shouldn’t we be living for so much more? If that’s all there is to life, then it’s worthless. But I think there’s more. I have to believe there’s more. If there wasn’t, then why the heck have we been surviving all this time? For Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? I think not.

Humans are survivors. We find a way to live. We always make it.

Thomas shows us that there is more to life than just existing. I want that. I want to be the Thomas in a world of goodhearted but merely existential Albys, Newts, Minhos, and Chucks.

2) The second point here is that it’s always good to get a fresh perspective on something. Minho and Alby – they thought they knew every inch of the Maze and the Glade. But Thomas came with a new idea. He wasn’t going to be held back by fear. He knew who the enemy was and he fought them.

The Grievers: Our Daily Demons

           I think the Grievers can be interchanged with our personal demons. Society? The kids at school? Now, I’m not saying go get them squashed in whatever metaphorical maze you’ve got going on in your head. 😉 I’m saying that it’s okay to disagree and think for yourself.

Society’s screwed up. It’s obsessed with fake. Show them something real.

Are you faking it for the kids at school? Why? Are what they stand for worthy enough for you to not be who you are? I’ve fallen into that trap. I used to hate myself because I wasn’t like the kids at school (and then I started homeschooling and, suddenly, the students were all too similar). Nothing I did was cool enough, funny enough. Nothing I wore met their ridiculously low standards (“You don’t know what Limited Too is??? You must be so sheltered!”). None of the shows I watched were good enough for their tastes (“You don’t watch Hannah Montana? Does your mom even let you watch T.V.?”). I wasn’t skinny. My hair wasn’t cut like theirs. I didn’t eat white bread with no crusts.

I didn’t eat white bread with no crusts.

How petty was I?

It Doesn’t Matter What We Did Before…

…it matters what we do now. People change, learn, and they move on. Be the best version of yourself, baby. The world needs it.

Chuck is Your Little Sibling/Cousin/Niece/Nephew…

Chuck, I think, represents the kids of today. Who do they look up to? Us. What are we showing them?

All you have to do is starve yourself to be cool.

All you have to do is eat white bread (when you eat).

All you have to do is wear Abercrombie & Fitch.

All you have to do is not be single (because you have no identity if someone else isn’t constantly defining you).

All you have to do is be addicted to [fill in the blank].

All you have to do is listen to everything everyone else is listening to.

All you have to do is rebel against your parents because they’re stupid and know nothing.

All you have to do is be the popular kid in school.

All  you have to do is swear up a storm because you’re not mature if you think for yourself and choose not to go with the flow.

All you have to do is be diagnosed with some “cool” disorder. When did depression become cool? When did a lack of hope become cool? When did no reason to live become cool?

Is that what we’re showing Chuck? If so, what’s he got to live for, hm? Nothing on that list gives me hope.

“Cool” is such a subjective concept. If that’s what standard you’re holding your life to, I’m sorry. Chuck knew only what the other boys told him. How much hope do you think they really had of getting out? If they were smart, I doubt if they had any. Thomas gave them hope.

Conclusion

You don’t have to risk your life to be a hero like Thomas. All you have to do is think for yourself and do what you believe to be right because the rest of the world is screaming lies at you, darling. And when the truth is only a little whisper, we need to listen hard. But the more Thomases we have, the easier it is to know the difference.

If you saw the film, what did you think? Do you agree with my thoughts? Any I looked over? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, lovely!

God bless!

Rana