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Showing posts from 2015

15 Things I Learned in 2015

So, here we are at the close of yet another year. 2015 is almost over, which means that we're all a year older, wiser and (hopefully) filled with lessons that this year taught us.
For me at least, 2015 was nothing but a big learning experience. If 2014 was a year of change for me, 2015 was all about growth. And boy, did I learn some new things.
To be honest, 2015 was rather difficult. Still, even as I muddled through, I came across some amazing moments of happiness that I'll never forget. As much as the pain and confusion of 2015 will be remembered, so will the positive and happy moments. So yes, 2015 was a mixed bag, but as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

As I look back on the year that was, I'm recalling 15 life lessons that 2015 taught me. Some are serious and rather grim, but some lessons I learned were incredible and made me realize how blessed I am. So here are
15 Things I Learned in 20151.God first.

I'm starting with the big one. This yea…

Movie Review: Aladdin

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The movie that epitomized the phrase ''diamond in the rough" still sparkles.

Can you imagine a world without the magic of Aladdin? Over the past twenty-odd years, this movie has cemented its status as a true cinema classic, one whose animation, voice acting and music has inspired, captivated and delighted a generation. In addition, Aladdin has an extra special place in my heart because it was the first movie - animated or not- that I ever saw. And while my one year old self was completely awestruck, the 24 year old me still continues to marvel at the wonders of this movie.

Anyone familiar with Disney history will agree that the most successful and lucrative period for Disney Animation was the 1990s. It was a decade when every single animated film released under the Disney banner turned to gold, a trend that began with 1989's The Little Mermaid and grew with 1991's Beauty and the Beast. Aladdin follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, delivering a grand fairyta…

Me vs. The Mirror

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I've always been fascinated by mirrors. Think about how bizarre it is: you are able to see yourself staring back at you, and by extension, see your entire surroundings reflected in them. When I was little, my overactive imagination would consider two ideas: either there is a whole other alternate world inside the mirror, or the person inside there is your evil twin who's plotting to kill you (yeah, I read a lot of kid horror growing up).

So I've always had a love-hate relationship with mirrors. For one, I think they are cool objects. But then again, they've managed to have a lasting impact on how I view myself.

Who am I?

You see, every time I passed a mirror, not only did I gaze at my reflection, but I started to think. Who is the person staring back at me? Where am I going?Am I good enough? I got sucked into a vortex of inferiority, judging myself. Comparing. I look terrible. Do I really look so awful? No wonder people don't like me.

It got to a point where I sim…

Live #NoFilter

Late last week, I did something drastic: I deleted my Instagram account. I didn't even deactivate it or make it private. No, I completely nuked it. Bye-bye, Instagram.

Why? There are reasons that I'd like to iterate here. Before I move to the details, let's just say that I never really 'found' myself there. In fact, I lost myself. This might sound weird, but I never felt comfortable sharing everything through photos and expecting people to like my posts. I realized that I was spending way too much time online, scrolling up and down, 'double-tapping' posts and commenting everywhere. Now, social media apps like Instagram were created for us to share our world with others, but lately it seemed like I was living there. At work, in bed, even while eating, I was caught in a net of vertical scrolling.(Also, minor point, but I noticed that all my mobile internet was getting used up on Instagram.) I needed to literally rip myself off the app because, lets face it, …

Movie Review: Inside Out

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Every once in a while, a movie comes along that changes your perception of the world around you. Toy Story showed us how toys come to life when humans aren't around. Monsters Inc. took us into the parallel world of monsters as they live and work. Wreck-It Ralph did the same with video games in an arcade. And now we have Inside Out, a film that takes us into mysterious, uncharted territory: the human mind.

The Disney owned Pixar Animation Studios has been on a bit of a break lately. They haven't really had a critical success since 2010's Toy Story 3, and in the past few years, movies like Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University haven't managed to deliver on what Pixar has always been famous for: inventive stories and memorable characters. All that changes this summer with the instant classic Inside Out, a film that takes serious risks, but risks that pay off hundredfold.

From the get go, we find Inside Out is a really complex and thought provoking film. The brainy dynami…

Album Review: Hilary Duff: Breathe In. Breathe Out.

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Hilary Duff  was the undisputed teen queen in the early 2000s. Aside from a successful TV and film career, the young star released her debut album in 2003, and broke out into mainstream pop with hit singles like 'So Yesterday' and 'Come Clean'. Her previous album, the experimental dance record Dignity was released way back in 2007, a lifetime ago.

It's been a full eight years since Hilary Duff released a full length studio album. After numerous promo singles, leaks and demos over the past years, here we are with an all-new, original album. It's been a long wait, and the good news is, this album meets expectations. Breathe In. Breathe Out. is a worthy successor to Dignity, and features several catchy, hook-laden anthems. The overall sound of the record is pop, but several songs lie in the dance, acoustic or folk genre.

Here is the track-by-track review:

1.  Sparks: The lead single, this album opener features a super catchy whistle hook. It isn't Duff's b…

TV Review: Girl Meets World (Season 1)

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Nostalgia is a pretty powerful thing. In the past couple years alone, we've seen a slew of reboots, remakes and sequels based on classic properties. Everything from Spider Man to Cinderella, Ninja Turtles to Spongebob has received some form of update.

Last year, it was the turn of a beloved 90s sitcom to get the sequel treatment. For seven years, 1993-2000, the coming of age sitcom Boy Meets World defined a generation. The witty humour, hard-hitting life lessons, and plain relatablilty of the central characters made the show a timeless favorite for the ages. Fourteen years after the finale of the original show, Disney announced a sequel focusing on the daughter of the titular "Boy", and her own challenges as she navigates her adolescent years.

Girl Meets World plays out exactly as a sequel should. The show stars Rowan Blanchard as 12-year old Riley Matthews, daughter of Cory and Topanga Matthews (Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, both reprising their original roles). Joini…

40 Days Without Social Media

This year, for Lent, I decided to give up social media for forty days. This meant, no Facebook, no Twitter, no WhatsApp, and definitely no Instagram.

Ouch.

Why did I impose this upon myself? Well, to put it quite simply, to find myself. Yeah, I know that sounds totally corny and fake, but this was something I'd been meaning to do for a long time. I realized that not only was I spending too much time staring at my phone and computer, but I also started basing my happiness and self worth on likes, followers and retweets, which is never a good thing. So, Lent seemed the perfect opportunity to 'cleanse' and clear the clutter from my life.

So how was my experience abstaining from social media? Quite honestly, it was a mixed bag.

DAY 0 (aka the day before the heroic, dramatic switch off)
I log out of all my social media apps. On the computer, on the phone, even my iPod. Yup, this is going to be great. I hope.

DAY 1
First day without social media! I can do this, I can do this...
I…

Movie Review: Cinderella (2015)

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Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.

Cinderella is the latest in a long line of new Disney live action adaptations based on classic animated films we all know and love. The trend started five years ago with Alice in Wonderland, which went on to gross over a billion dollars worldwide. Soon, films like Oz The Great and Powerfuland Maleficent followed suit, both heavy on special effects and starring Hollywood's biggest names like James  Franco, Mila Kunis and Angelina Jolie. This year, its the 1950 animated classic which gets the live action treatment. Quite honestly, this one is the best of them all.

Based on the evergreen fairytale, Cinderella is the story of Ella, a young girl who lives with her stepmother and stepsisters, reduced to the role of a servant in her own home. Ever the optimist, Ella follows the maxim her mother taught her on her deathbed, to "have courage and be kind". This simple lesson sees Ella through th…

Happy 2015...Now Go Do Something!

So here we are, at the threshold of a brand new year. 2014 was truly a great - no, incredible year for me. I officially stepped out of comfort zones, took risks, and literally changed. For the better. I learned so much and feel like I'm a totally different person than I was 365 days ago.

A big reason for this change was the fact that I decided it's time to stop thinking about myself all the time and put my skills to good use to benefit others. Sure, it wasn't all smooth sailing, but I definitely made a start in that direction, and hope to continue this through 2015.

Which brings me to my first inspiration of the year. We all make so called "resolutions" which we attempt to follow throughout the year. Even I do - Spend less time online, read more books, eat healthy, I've had these as my resolutions at some point or other. Did I follow them? Kind of. For a week maximum.

The reason most resolutions fail is that we think too big. For example, "Okay, it'…