The Star-Touched Queen: First Impressions

The Star-Touched Queen: First Impressions

Hello and happy Wednesday. A while ago I showed you this card I’d gotten in my February Owl Crate, which has download codes for an audio excerpt of Caraval by Stephanie Garber and The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. I chose the latter because I have Caraval and want to read it sometime in the future, but it feels weird to be reading and listening to it. That’s just my opinion, and if you enjoy that, please continue.

When the excerpt began I felt a bit confused because the story seemed to just start in the middle of a scene, but I then understood that I was actually listening to chapter 6, so it made sense that I was sort of lost. The plot, though, was easy to understand once the story continued, although the fact that it didn’t start from chapter 1 annoyed me. You see, I’m a little obsessive-compulsive when it comes to my books, and so if I’m reading a sample, I want it to be from the beginning of the book, so that if I like the book, I can buy it and continue reading it. Having listened to chapters 6 and 7 means I basically spoiled those chapters and that was a turnoff for me.

This may not be a very popular opinion, but I didn’t like the narrator. There was something about her voice I didn’t like, and then there’s the fact that she switched to this Indian-like accent whenever there were dialogues. First of all, I don’t know if there’s a correct term for that kind of accent; I don’t mean to be offensive but English is not my first language and I don’t know all the words. Secondly, I would have very much preferred to have the narrator talk in that accent the whole story rather than alternate accents.

At the end I wanted to listen more of the story, and I was a bit sad that the excerpt was over, but not enough so as to get the book, add it to my lists or whatever. In my opinion, it’s a book I might enjoy, but I wasn’t thrilled about it, so I don’t plan on buying it anytime soon.

Did you read the whole book or an excerpt? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know!

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

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I Tried a Vegan Deodorant

I Tried a Vegan Deodorant

Hello and happy Sunday. I recently became obsessed with Etsy, basically since I discovered many stores ship to Colombia, which is why I decided to start this post series called “Etsy Buys”, where I’ll tell you about stuff I bought and my thoughts on it.

I’m going to write these posts as often as I can, but I’m not constantly buying things on Etsy, so I can’t do them on a regular basis. That being said, let’s start talking about the vegan deodorant I’ve had the chance to try for the last few weeks.

I’d seen the Schmidt’s Bergamot + Lime natural deodorant once in the past and thought “wow, this looks cool, I might buy it sometime in the future.” That was before I discovered the wonders of Etsy, so I probably saw it on Amazon and just added it to my wish list. Now, here’s the story of why this deodorant became relevant in my life again.

I used to have excessive perspiration, which means I had to wear super strong deodorants, the best, most efficient ones being for men. I say I used to because up until a couple of months ago my armpits have been acting strangely, to the point where I’m basically suffering from the opposite of excessive perspiration. I don’t know whether it was the change in my eating, or a new deodorant I started using, or the fact that I’m undergoing laser for hair removal but my armpits went all itchy and dry almost all of a sudden. My strongest theory is the new deodorant I’ve been trying, which got me to decide to get another, gentler one.

Here’s where Schmidt’s became relevant again to me, because by that time I found out the wonders of Etsy and decided to try the whole international shipping with an item, which, you guessed, was the Bergamot + Lime natural deodorant.

Now, I got a little leaflet with the deodorant and it sort of had instructions and tips related to the deodorant, like the fact that it activates when it’s warm, so it means you have to swipe it a few times against your skin before it softens. Once in contact with warm skin it has the greatest texture and it’s not chalky and it doesn’t leave white patches on the armpits or anything. I decided I’d use this product for Zumba and so far I’ve been delighted because I have a fresh smell throughout my classes, and no big sweat patches or anything.

Because I was so in love with this deodorant, I decided to test it in a field trip I went with my students. We went to a town that is warmer than Bogota, and I wanted to see how it held up. The first day everything was great, but on the second day, when I went to shower and get unready, I discovered my armpits were red and sort of swollen. It was as if I’d gotten chub rub on my armpits. They hadn’t hurt before I noticed, but of course once I did, I felt the need to scratch, but I couldn’t because that would increase the tenderness of my skin. Many things could have caused me the rash I got, which I think was caused by an allergic reaction: it could have been the heat alright, or the fact that my clothes had gotten wet, and so the contact of the wet fabric with my skin could’ve also been the cause, or maybe the deodorant reacted to both the heat and the water.

I had to do a final test on this deodorant because it had worked back home and I was really considering to switching to it altogether, but I was scared that it was the cause of my allergic reaction (by the way, that meant that I didn’t apply any deodorant for like five days…sorry not sorry). What I did was apply the Schmidt’s deodorant for Zumba once my armpits went back to normal, and everything was great again.

I would totally recommend this brand and this particular scent, especially if you workout, because this stuff is super fresh. If like me, you’re trying to get into vegan stuff and products that are not as harsh to your body, you should try Schmidt’s. You can buy a sample size and see if you like it before you get the real deal.

Tell me, are you into Etsy? What is something you’d suggest I try?

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

Transportation Means for Kindergarten

Transportation Means for Kindergarten

Hello and happy Saturday. Here’s another week-in-review kinda post. Today, I’m going to share with you how we worked with transportation in Kindergarten.

Now, Pinterest is my happy place, so the ideas you’re going to see today were all inspired by pins I found while planning.

Monday started with me teaching my students The Transportation Song, from Mrs. Kelly’s Klass. I used a karaoke version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as background music.

This song gave me a lot to work with because obviously it includes many vocabulary words related to transportation. It also has the concepts near and far, which we explored with the help of some flash cards from Flash Card Fox I’d brought. Basically, I explained my boys that near means within city limits, while far means out of the city, the country, or even the planet in the case of a rocket.

I showed the boys each of the cards and they had to tell me whether each vehicle traveled near or far.

These cards also worked for the exercise I did next, which I did based on the Transportation Song as well.

You see, it is quite repetitive in the take a… part, so I tool the take a rocket to the moon bit and worked around it.

I wrote the formula I take a _________ to go to __________ and gave each boy a flash card. They have to complete the sentence using the means of transportation they got and a place. This also helped as a review exercise of the different city and neighborhood buildings.

At the end of the class we did a following instructions activity to review colors and basic vocabulary related to transportation.

I was inspired by this picture  to decorate the English whiteboard. Each boy colored a flash card from The Measured Mom, and then I cut them and made them look nice and pretty. The reason why I included “railway” as a subdivision of the land section is that, after the whole-class explanation, each boy individually developed a sorting worksheet by Preschool Activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we worked on Math centers using the transportation pattern block mats by Prekinders.com you can get the plastic shapes by clicking here.

What are some other cool things you do when teaching this topic? Let me know!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

Paranormal Audiobook Review

Paranormal Audiobook Review

Hello and happy Wednesday. David Pandolfe readers, please let me know if Streetlights Like Fireworks can actually be considered a paranormal read or if there’s a more accurate term for it. Thank you, and please keep on reading.

I feel like my audiobook game has been kinda weak lately and stories like Streetlights Like Fireworks help me get back in the game. First of all, the narrator was amazing; his voice was so calm and soothing I just wanted to stay home and listen to him read to me all day. The story itself wasn’t long, so I went through it in about two weeks or less, and it was super easy to follow.

I love the fact that the plot of the novel was so original because Jack, the main character, along with Lauren, who becomes his partner in a road trip across the United States, has this visions and this sensitivity towards paranormal stuff. They can see and feel the presence of other people and get flashbacks as if they were other people.

The fact that there’s a road trip involved was also great, and music being the basis of everything. I appreciated a lot the way Lauren and Jack’s relationship evolves throughout the story without taking the “spotlight” away from the real core of the plot. This is an original, refreshing read you’ll enjoy, especially if, like me, you have some sort of a fascination towards paranormal stuff.

By visiting davidpandolfe.com you can get the free ebook version of Streetlights Like Fireworks. If you do get it and read it, let me know what your thoughts were!

Happy Wednesday!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

Empties 1st Edition

Empties 1st Edition

Hello and happy Sunday. I’m here today to talk to you about products that I no longer use because I’ve been through them, and I’d to tell you my thoughts. Now, I have talked about all of these products in past posts (go ahead, stalk me) so I’m not going to explain them; I’m basically going to say 1: my personal experience with the product and 2: whether I’d buy it or not and why. Let’s get started.

Victoria’s Secret Starlit Wish body mist 

I got this on one of my trips to the U.S, taking advantage of one of those “buy 2, get one free” sales or whatever. I previously mentioned that this was one of the only vanilla scented mists I own, and it was pretty good. I’m into trying new fragrances when it comes to body mist, so I’m not sure whether I’d buy it again, besides, it’s been a while since I first bought it and collections are always changing.

Wet N’ Wild Under the Sheets makeup removing wipes 

My dad got me these at the Dollar Tree and I hauled them last week. If you keep the price in mind, these work just fine, but I’d spend a bit more on some, heavier duty ones. I wear a lot of makeup even when I go for more “natural” looks, and I especially wear heavy makeup on my eyes, and I feel that with these wipes I had to really take my time and make an effort, which you know is not my thing when removing makeup. I’d buy them again if I ever came across them at a Dollar Tree, but to have as a backup or for days when my makeup is minimal.

One Direction Our Moment body lotion 

I’ve already told you this in a previous post , but the Our Moment body lotion is the silkiest lotion I’ve tried. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and shiny and smelling like heaven. I was actually going to say “no, I won’t buy it again,” but I literally have no arguments to support my decision, so who knows? I love to try different stuff all the time, so maybe in a couple of years, if this line isn’t discontinued or something, I’ll get the lotion again.

Pink Chiffon body lotion by Bath and Body Works 

Okay, so for those of you who don’t know, pink is my favorite color. I genuinely love pink things, and that includes pink fragrances and lotions. Obviously, I had to have a body lotion called Pink Chiffon and I wanted to love it really badly. The thing is, this lotion smelled like you’d been wrapped in a giant marshmallow, like the sweet scent was just too much for me. And the thing is, with Bath and Body Works products I’m not really looking for hydration but for fragrance, given that on lazy days I apply body lotion and expect that to make me smell nice during the day, so it wasn’t like the other benefits counted as much for me as the scent did. I wouldn’t buy it again, nor would I buy vanilla-based products because although I still love pink, I’m moving towards other kind of fragrances now.

SugarBearHair vitamins

I’ve talked not once but twice about these vitamins, so you must know by now that I adore them and that they’ve worked for me, strengthening my hair, making it look healthier and accelerating its growth. I want to buy them again, but they’re expensive and not a priority for me at the moment, so I’ll keep them in my list and hope that someday I can purchase them again.

Covergirl Bombshell Curvaceous LashBlast mascara

I have to make a confession: I didn’t like this mascara when I first got it. It dried down on me too quickly and I hadn’t applied the second coat and it was sort of a disaster. I tried it again, though, following the directions in the box I got sent and I loved it. Granted, it’s not a mascara I wore every day, but I enjoyed it until it dried. I’d buy it again, but I think it’s on the pricier side (and I’m a cheap girl), so maybe if it were on sale one day.

Maybelline New York Volum’ Express The Colossal Spider Effect Washable Mascara

I wore this mascara twice and twice it ruined my eye look completely. I despise the wand, I don’t get how it works. My eyelashes were thick and all clumpy and they stuck out like needles after I applied it, and the last time I wore it, I just decided to throw it away and let you know that I don’t recommend this for the life of me. I got it because I saw Christen Dominique wear it in a tutorial and then my best friend told me to buy it for her when I went to the States, and so I decided to give it a try. No. No, thank you. I’d rather leave the house with naked eyelashes than have to wear that horrible thing again.

Tell me about one of your empties in the comments below!

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

4 YouTube Channels I Swear By

4 YouTube Channels I Swear By

My Teaching Resolution (1).pngHello and happy Saturday. I’m a millennial, and that means every bit of my life is affected by technology. I am one of those teacher who fully support the use of technology for instructional purposes, especially to create links between the classroom and the home. This is why I send weekly tasks to my Pre-k and Kindergarten parents, some of which include YouTube channels to check out at home. Today I’m going to share with you four of these channels and why I love them.

Go Noodle | Get Moving 

Now, Go Noodle is a page many people know and love, but it’s not as known in Colombia as it is in the U.S. I sent my parents and invitation to join Go Noodle and some did, but I also shared the YouTube channel with them because it requires no login or anything too challenging. Videos also appear to load faster in here, so it’s pretty great, the only downside is that there’s no way of earning points.

NickSplat

Whenever I have to cover for a teacher, I play videos to my students. I adore playing NickSplat videos to my students because they take me back to my own childhood. We love watching Rugrats, Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberrys and Rocket Power. The videos are really short, but that keeps my students focused, wanting to see more. Often with longer videos they get bored, especially because they don’t understand most of it yet. I like to play these videos because they train my students’ ears and have them listen to different accents.

Super Why Official 

I love the fact that full episodes are uploaded into this channel. This show is great for young learners because it’s easy to understand, it revolves around stories that are known by the kids, and it develops many skills related to literacy. Do you have to cover for a preschool teacher and you have no idea what to do? Super Why to the rescue!

StorylineOnline

Reading aloud is a very important part of my classes, and I encourage parents to read to their kids, but that’s not always possible; some parents don’t know English well enough to read stories to their kids, some others don’t have the time to do this. In some houses there aren’t even books in English! Thankfully, with StorylineOnline you can have the best books read to you by great actors. This is also great if you don’t have many books in your classroom because the selection is amazing.

What are some YouTube channels that as a teacher you swear by? Tell me about them!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

Call Me Miss Controversial

Call Me Miss Controversial

 Hello and happy Wednesday. I’m writing this post almost one whole week after finishing My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, and I took this time because this book is not like the other ones I’ve read and I think readers should have a bit of caution when getting into it.

First of all, huge trigger warning about this book, its main characters have suicidal thoughts and the actually meet because they plan to commit suicide together. It also deals with deaths in the family, parents who are emotionally unstable, and characters who are very likely depressed although no mental health professional has made any diagnosis. If, by this, you’d like to continue reading my thoughts on this book, please do so, if not, I understand.

I sort of needed to get that trigger warning out there because I can’t imagine being in a vulnerable state, maybe even mentally ill and stumbling upon a book that might make everything worse. I consider myself lucky because I have never experienced serious issues regarding my mental health, and also because my sister studies psychology, so she’s able to explain me many things in a rational way. She would, for instance, criticize the fact that in this novel, though it’s clear that the characters are not mentally stable, they are not being assisted by a mental health professional.

Now I’m a teacher and though I know about psychology, it’s more towards the developmental side of it, and about emotional and behavioral disorders in children. Depression and suicidal thoughts are situations I’m not qualified to deal with and also I only understand them in a superficial level, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that fact, that we don’t know everything about a topic, and that we don’t always have the last word in a subject.

I’m saying this, and here’s where I get controversial, because I’ve noticed people over Twitter hating on a new book every week because it’s this or that and because it is offensive and whatever. The thing is, these people talk with such rage about the books that I feel like they’re sort of forbidding their followers to read a certain book, and that’s just plain ridiculous, in my opinion. Yes, I agree, there are books that are purposefully offensive and those shouldn’t be read, but there are others that are okay, unless we look at them through a microscope and dissect every tiny detail.

While reading My Heart and Other Black Holes I kept thinking “Twitter’s not going to like this” and “oh, crap, is this offensive?” and although I asked myself those questions, the truth is I loved the book and I think I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. Of course, I didn’t agree on every single thing that happened, and there was this idea (a major spoiler, so you’ll have to read the book and find out for yourself what it is) that annoyed me because in a way it disregarded the importance of therapy and being evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I didn’t just throw the book in the air yelling “you shouldn’t read this because it’s offensive.”

I’m really glad to have read this controversial book because I had this thought for a while and I can finally post about it. Personally, I’m all for diverse books, of course, but I’ve also read books that are not diverse and will continue to do so. I’ve read books that try to be inclusive and fail miserably, and I’ve read books, like My Heart and Other Black Holes, that could do better at addressing mental health issues. I’ve hated books and ranted about them, and I’ve been guilty of saying “I don’t think anyone deserves to read this because it sucks,” but I also feel that some readers out there need to relax and to stop “censoring” their readers.

If you met me in real life, you’d know I’m aggressive-aggressive. I’m a big girl and I talk loud because most of the time I forget in normal circumstances I shouldn’t use my teacher voice. And I’m very opinionated. There are books, like the Harry Potter series that I love and defend with the passion of one thousand burning suns, there are books I’ve read and didn’t like but I don’t make a fuss about like the Fifty Shades series, and there are books that I’d only read if I got paid good money, basically all the classics. I’m not going to get into an argument with you, though if you read and liked or didn’t like a book. I won’t give you shit for it and I’m not going to think any less of you. Then again, there are some books that are the obvious exception, but I wouldn’t hang out with you if you read those.

Basically, this post, besides being a mini review of My Heart and Other Black Holes is meant for me to tell you that I’m going to read and review what I want. If I read anything that has any sort of trigger, I’ll add the warnings, don’t worry about that, but I’m not going to censor my reads; I feel part of being a reader is being able to go through books we didn’t like for some reason and expressing our thoughts in a rational way.

Now tell me, what are your thoughts on controversial reads?

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!