Posts Tagged: entertainment

Riverdale Recaps – A Kiss Before Dying (Season 2: Episode 1)

October 18, 2017 fun, miscellaneous, reviews, tv shows 0

Riverdale is back for a new season! It isn’t the best or most logical show around, but it’s certainly one of the more entertaining ones. Season 2 just started airing and guys, I am hooked. I love the characters, which is a huge factor for me when watching a show, and the storyline keeps you guessing. It’s basically Twin Peaks: High School Edition and since the actual Twin Peaks bored me (the book was great though), an edition with more easy drama and likeable characters is just perfect for me. It’s super cheesy and stylized, but it’s so aware of it that it becomes art.

riverdale recaps graphic

Since I enjoy Riverdale so much, I decided you’ll get weekly recaps on the blog! I’ve enlisted the help of my friend Bianca, who you already know from Monday’s post. We’re both avid Riverdale watchers and love discussing the newest episode when it airs, so I figured why not take it to the blog. One of the most entertaining things about this show is coming up with theories about what’s happening and judging the characters for their actions, so maybe some of you would like to join in the comment section! Also, this is partially inspired by Shannon‘s The 100 recaps.

Since this is a recap, there will obviously be SPOILERS. Don’t read unless you’ve watched it, or you don’t mind spoilers.
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[Guest Post]: How to Make Yourself Cry on a Plane

October 16, 2017 movies, recs, travel 2



I’m particularly excited to introduce my good friend and former roommate Bianca to you today! I’ve collaborated with her on my dormant YouTube channel before (Socially Awkward and The Friendship Test), so if you’ve been around for a while you might remember her. She surprised me with a fully written post that fits perfectly into my Movie Mondays category (if you don’t remember it, it’s because I only did it like twice and then forgot about it, but I recently found the graphic again, so clearly it was meant to be). I really enjoyed reading it, and I’m sure you will too. Don’t forget to show Bianca some love in the comments!



movie monday graphic on reviews and cake
Movie Mondays is a series of reviews, discussions, and general movie talk. Get yourself some popcorn, lean back in your seat, and enjoy the show.

Bianca’s Post

Hello lovely readers of Vlora’s marvellous blog about books, lifestyle, tv series, films and apparently also about cake. I wanted to write a guest post on this little corner of the internet for years and apparently today is finally the day.

A bit about me: My name is Bianca and I have been Vlora’s roommate for most of our time studying for our Bachelor’s degree. I love reading, watching tv series and traveling the world. Oh…and I also really love penguins (you should do some research on them; they are amazing)!

This July I did a bit of travelling to South Korea which is an absolutely beautiful place. However, this blogpost is not going to be about my time in Asia but about the time it took me to get there and to get back home. A flight from Germany (where I live) to South Korea takes about 10 hours 40 minutes. That times two makes over 20 hours of travel time. And what do you do when you’re on a plane for that long? You try to use the on-board entertainment as much as possible (given that your airline provides on-board entertainment). I was really lucky and had many film options to choose from.

However, my choices were, let’s say, strategically not the best ones since I had to hold back tears for almost half of my flight to not make the person next to me wake up next to a crying bunch of both misery and joy. Because you don’t want to be the one explaining that you neither have fear of flying nor homesickness but that you rather just weep easily.

Nevertheless, the films I watched were all really really good, and if you ever feel the need to let it loose and just cry a bit, may it be on a plane, on your sofa or wherever you want, these are three of my suggestions for you:

1. The Zookeeper’s Wife

This 2017 film is based on the non-fiction book by Diane Ackerman and tells the true story of Antonina Żabiński, her husband Jan, who was the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and their children. During World War II the Żabińskis rescued over 300 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto by hiding them in their empty zoo. Prepare the tissues because this film is not for the fainthearted. It has amazing actors and is very beautifully shot but it does not fear away from portraying the brutal reality of the war and the absolutely terrible conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto. However, what ultimately made me cry my eyes out was the portrayal of bravery and humanity shown by the Żabińskis and the other people who risked their lives and safety for others. This story is a beautiful message of hope and shows that compassion can overcome so much and even save lives.

Vlora: I can confirm this. I slept through the first ten minutes of the movie (I probably finished an essay the night before or something), which my friends told me was the happy part, and then bawled through literally the entire rest of it. I was in a cinema and not on an airplane, but still. It was emotional, guys. I second the recommendation!

2. A United Kingdom

Things based on true stories always make me really emotional and these stories don’t even have to be sad. The film “A United Kingdom” tells the love story of Sir Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth Williams. I had never heard of these two before watching the film but their story is just beautiful.

Seretse is the heir to the throne of Bechuanaland. After World War II, he studies law in the United Kingdom and meets Ruth, who he falls in love with. They get married despite the protests of their families and the British government. Many political issues accrue, and Seretse is exiled from his country by the British government. Meanwhile, Ruth delivers their first child in Bechuanaland and becomes more and more accepted by the local people. Eventually, Seretse is allowed to return to Bechuanaland and tries to negotiate its independence from the British Empire. Finally, Seretse helps to lead Bechuanaland to democracy and becomes the first elected president of newly founded Botswana.

It just always makes me happy (and therefore cry) to see how amazing people influenced the world. I’m always just moved to see what a privilege it is to live in a democracy and to be able to vote for what I consider right, and films like this one show what it took to get there.

3. Lion

Last but not least, I watched the beautiful film “Lion” which received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture. I wanted to see that film since it came out but never came around to do so. However, when I saw it on the on-board entertainment list I was so happy to be able to finally watch it, and it was definitely worth the wait.

Based on the true story of Saroo Brierley who, at the age of 5 gets seperated from his family in India as he falls asleep on a train and wakes up 1500 kilometers away from home. Since he doesn’t know the name of his mother nor of his hometown authorities are unable to bring him back to his family. Saroo is later adopted by an Australian couple and grows up in Tasmania. 25 years later, he begins to search for his biological family in India via Google Earth and ultimately succeeds in doing so.

I love films about family and this one has so much family in it. The love of Saroo’s adoptive parents for him and the desperation of his biological mother who didn’t know the whereabouts of her son for 30 years is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. This film is definitely a tear-jerker.

So dear readers, now is the time to stock up on tissues and get watching! And if they don’t make you cry, you have at least watched some good films and maybe learned something new about history.

Please let me know in the comments about films that make you cry or experiences you had with the on-board entertainment on airplanes.


About Bianca

bio pic Bianca is a Peace and Conflict Studies student in Germany. She likes reading, traveling, and discussing the latest Riverdale episode. She’s active in her church’s youth group and has become very proficient at making flyers. She hopes to one day be a diplomat, or possibly a band member. She also let Vlora write her biography, so clearly she is too trusting.

Find Bianca

On Twitter: @stumblinpenguin
On Instagram: @b_p_k




Huge thanks to Bianca for recommending some great movies (well, I’ve only seen one, but I trust her taste in most things)! Don’t forget to follow her on her social media and let us know about the great movies you’ve seen recently.

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Book Titles That Describe My Life

August 18, 2017 books, fun, miscellaneous 4

A month without uploading
she comes back with a tag
that no one even tagged her in
she’s not a challenge to drag

Sorry if you’re not familiar with this masterpiece of music, but it was the first thing that came to my mind when I started writing this post. I saw this tag on Shannon’s blog, and decided to steal it, because I’m in the last stages of writing my dissertation and it’s either a tag or nothing. Hope you enjoy!

Title That’s the Story of Your Life

Nervous Conditions


I literally picked this book up because of the title, so I feel like that’s pretty accurate.

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The Hottest Blog Post You’ll Ever Read

May 12, 2017 fun, miscellaneous 18

As I was contemplating what kind of blog post to write, I found myself drafting and redrafting several ideas. I haven’t blogged in a while, so obviously the pressure is on. Not someone too proud to accept help, I Googled “blog post ideas” and stumbled upon a lot of sites telling you how to write posts that will instantly turn your blog viral. This post promising 101 blog post ideas that will make your blog “HOT” specifically inspired me. I mean how could I turn that down?

But why stop at only one of these ideas? If my blog will be “HOT” if I post about these subjects, won’t it be literally on fire if I just combine them all into one post, I logically questioned. Since writing about all 101 of them in one post would contradict the necessity to cater to readers’ short attention spans online, I decided to take the first 5 for now. So without further ado: the HOTTEST post around!

#1 Run a contest

Oh fun, I’ve always wanted to run a contest! I considered giving away a book or something, but I mean I’m sure you wouldn’t want that. Everyone’s doing that, you must be so bored of it. Hmmm how about this: If you’re amongst the first three people to comment, I will EXCLUSIVELY come up with a motivational saying for you. That’s right, a BRAND NEW motivational quote tailored specially to YOUR needs! I mean, who could resist?

#2 Review books/products/films

Well, that doesn’t seem very useful, but they do say try everything at least once… Alright, let’s go with this hallway I’m sitting in. I have to say it’s one of the better hallways I’ve seen. There are two reasonably comfortable sofas for people to sit on while they wait for their seminars to start. There are even a few places to charge your electronic device of choice. However, some people are left standing, so you have to be there quite early to enjoy the benefits of this particular hallway.

In terms of architectural qualities, I’m a little torn. The hallway is situated in a historically relevant building used by a university, which is quite nice. However, a part of the hardwood floor has been replaced with an unattractive gray substance, the likes of which you could probably find in any institution across the country. Additionally it is interesting to note that this hallway fulfills some of the qualities of a waiting room or perhaps a small lounge.

Overall, I would give this hallway 3/5 stars. I enjoyed the open space and the fact that I was able to watch an episode of a good TV show while charging my netbook and waiting for my seminar, but I have also left the hallway to wait somewhere else in previous weeks when I arrived later and there was no more room to sit down. With some improvements, this could be a great hallway.

#3 Make comprehensive guide/tutorial

The writer of the blog post I am basing this on said to focus on something you are good at for this point. After careful consideration, I have identified one of my key strengths: procrastination. Below is a short but comprehensive guide on how to best achieve the same level of pofessionality in this particular area that I am already capable of. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

1. Identify the thing you are procrastinating. You can easily do this by doing something that seems fun to you. After a few moments, you will start to feel guilty. Use this guilt. Consider which aspect(s) of your life you are neglecting by doing the thing that seems fun to you. This is the thing you’re aiming to procrastinate.

2. Make a to do list. To do lists are great for procrastination purposes, because you feel like you are being productive even though you are most likely going to ignore your new list entirely.

3. Consider starting to work on your project. Start up your computer and open up your internet browser of choice to look up something vital. Now be careful – don’t actually look up whatever it was you came for. Instead tour all your favorite social media sites and watch some youtube videos.

4. Complain. Complain to your friends, complain to your family In fact, while you’re at it contact some old acquaintances and complain to them as well. Tell all of them how busy you are with your project and that you don’t possibly have time for anything else. Then get back to watching youtube videos.

5. Tell yourself you will definitely start tomorrow.

6. Go to bed and stress about how little time you have left to accomplish your goals and finish your assignments.

7. Repeat endlessly.

I hope that was helpful! :)

#4 Interview someone

Here, the article advises to get an interview with someone who rarely speaks in public. I thought about people who are usually hard to get a hold of and finally had the perfect idea – a telephone company employee! I called the o2 customer service, but I was on hold for so long that I finally had to go to the bathroom. When I got back someone had hung up on me. I tried again, but after an hour or so I had to run out.

#5 Post a cool infographic

An infographic is used to visualize complex relationships. So I thought what’s more complex than global warming? I hope this sheds some light on the issue; it certainly took me long enough to make.

Alright, that’s it! The first five out of a list of 101 ways to make my blog relevant. I hope you were able to handle the HOTNESS (unlike the earth haha – no? too soon? not soon enough?). Here’s some ice cubes. Let me know if you liked it, and I might make a series out of it.

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#writingstruggles

November 8, 2016 writing 4

Welcome to November! Wow, that went fast, didn’t it? Then again a lot of people seem to be comparing 2016 to a dumpster fire, so maybe you’re looking forward to next year already. Either way, November means it’s time for my favorite holiday of the year: National Novel Writing Month! If you’re not familiar with the concept, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50.000 words in one month. You don’t really win anything at the end, other than bragging rights, so all it proves is that writers are masochists. Seriously though, it’s great for inspiration and motivation.

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I figured what would be a better way to cheerlead than talking about all the various struggles writers and by writers I mean mostly me face. I already wrote a sarcastic post on writing struggles, so I decided it was time for a real one. I am nothing if not an optimist.


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My Reaction to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 18 Gifs (And I Haven’t Even Read It Yet)

July 27, 2016 books, miscellaneous 12

To celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on July 31st, Aentee @ Read at Midnight came up with the idea of Potterhead July, a month-long Harry Potter blog festival. I grew up with Harry Potter, so obviously I had to participate.



I thought about writing a long, heartfelt post for this, I really did. Instead, I give you my reaction to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 18 gifs, because that’s just where I’m at.
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Fantasy Favorites: An Introduction

June 25, 2016 books, fun, miscellaneous 17

Hello everyone!

I’ve participated in the fantasy favorites read-a-thon last year, and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again this year! It’s all about fantasy books and this year there are three series we’re going to focus on – Throne of Glass, Grisha, and Percy Jackson – but you can read anything you’d like to read. There will be lots of fun posts and challenges, and if you’d like to join we’d love to have you!

fantasy favorites read a thon graphic on reviews and cake

Since there may be some new people visiting this blog over the course of the event, it’s time to reintroduce myself!

1. Who are you?

i am iron man gif

What? I could be. You don’t know what I do with my free time.

Starting right with the difficult questions, are we? I feel like someone should write a coming-of-age story about me that I could read, so I can answer this question. Fine, I’ll stop being annoyingly philosophical about this and give it my best shot:

I’m Vlora and I blog about books, TV shows, movies and everything that catches my interest. I’m also currently a student and I work part-time, so I blog between 7 days a week during holidays to one time a month during busy times, but I’m usually around on twitter, because I like shouting my witty (or so I say) 140-character insights at people. I live in Germany, but will probably-hopefully-almost definitely move to England in September to do my postgrad there (and so I can frequent Waterstones, but that was only, like, 49% of the reason). I like writing, drawing, travelling and wearing my pajamas all weekend. And by pajamas I mean sweatpants and a random t-shirt, because I’m not fancy enough to own pajamas.

I’m a professional procrastinator, which is the only reason I have a smidgeon of baking skills, because I like to bake when I should be writing term papers. I also have a horrible sense of direction, but I make up for it by being too socially akward to ask people for directions. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube channel, which I use very sporadically (meaning I haven’t made a video in months, because I forgot how to edit, but I still pay for the Adobe Creative Suit, so I at least feel guilty about it). When I’m obsessed with something I talk about it incessantly on twitter and secretely read fanfiction until I can’t justify neglecting everything else anymore. Currently, I’m loving Hamilton, so let me know if we have that in common. Sometimes I remember this blog is public and potential employers/my friends and family can see it, but most of the time I choose to ignore that fact.

Right, that was probably more than you ever asked for or wanted to know, so let’s move on.

2. Why are you joining the read-a-thon?

I love fantasy, and I really enjoyed taking part last year, so I jumped at the chance to participate again. There also haven’t been too many posts on this blog lately, because I’ve been busy, so this is a good opportunity to come back with a bang. Or at least quietly sneak back in and pretend I’ve been there all along.

3. Which books do you intend to read?

I’ve read the original Percy Jackson series and I’m listening to the Heroes of Olympus audiobooks at the moment, so I’m good on that front. I’ve read Throne of Glass, but I didn’t love it (I actually named it as my least favorite fantasy in last years introduction post – oops?), so I never moved on to the sequels, and I don’t plan to, which leaves the Grisha series. I’ve heard of the books before and they sounded like I might enjoy them, but I never got around to reading them. When I looked them up on amazon a few weeks ago, I saw they were all 99c on Kindle, so I bought all three books in preparation for the read-a-thon. I am a terrible mood reader though, so we’ll see what I’ll actually end up reading!

4. How many pages do you think you’ll manage?

No clue! I’m writing my Bachelor thesis at the moment, but I’m hoping to hand it in at the beginning of the read-a-thon, so I should hopefully have some time to read. I’d like to read the first book of the Grisha series at the very least, but I may end up reading more. My goal last year was 10 pages and I read 240, so I’d say let’s meet in the middle and go for 11 pages this year. (Unrelatedly, here’s another fact about me: I suck at math.)

5. What’s your favourite thing about the fantasy genre?

I love delving into new magical worlds and reading about high stakes adventures. It’s not that I don’t like contemporary books, but I feel like there’s always an extra sprinkle of awesome when there’s magic involved. I mean an argument may be interesting to read about, but an argument where people may end up throwing fireballs at each other? Much more exciting, you have to admit.

6. Which fantasy books do you always recommend?

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows! Seriously, go read those books!!!!! If you don’t know me, you may not know that this excessive use of exclamation marks is out of character for me, but it IS and you can trust my excitement about this series. I love the writing and the world is just magical AND THE CHARACTERS OH MY GOD THE CHARACTERS (capslock on the other hand is NOT out of character for me, so get used to it). And like last year, I can’t believe I have to say this but: if you haven’t read Harry Potter, read Harry Potter. Seriously. Just do it, jeez.

7. Which fantasy books are you dying to read?

A CONJURING OF LIGHT. It doesn’t come out until next February.


8. If you could travel to one fantasy world, which one would it be? (I know it’s hard, but try not to say Hogwarts.)

The Harry Potter world. There, I didn’t say Hogwarts, you’re welcome.



And that’s it for introductions! I’m looking forward to meeting you all, and I hope everyone who isn’t participating will still appreciate that there will be more posts than usually. Later, gators! (obnoxious greetings and good byes are also a trademark of mine, sorry not sorry.)

Why do YOU love fantasy? What do you like to do when you procrastinate? I need to know these things, so I can encourage you in your bad habits.

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The 100: My Thoughts So Far (I AM NOT OKAY)

April 7, 2016 discussion, tv shows 4

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or you’re following me on twitter, it’s no secret that I LOVE The 100. The plan was to wait until the entirety of Season 3 is out there so I can binge watch, but then I found myself with time and the need for a good show today, so obviously that plan failed. I decided that I am done yelling at people on twitter (for now), so here are my thoughts so far.

SPOILERS UP UNTIL SEASON 3 EPISODE 9. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
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The Hateful Eight

February 22, 2016 movies, reviews 1

It’s that time of the year again: movie aficionados all over the world scramble to watch the movies nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. I have to admit I’ve only seen a couple of the contenders so far, but The Hateful Eight was one of them.



I did manage to catch an English showing of The Hateful Eight, because there was no way I was going to watch a crappy dubbed German version of it, but I didn’t get to see the 70mm version. If you haven’t been following movie news, Tarantino, in an effort to put all other movie nerds to shame, filmed The Hateful Eight in Ultra Panavision 70, a format that hasn’t been used for decades, which basically means that you get a wider and much more detailed image. Since most cinemas don’t have the equipment to show the movie in this format, there was (is?) a roadshow featuring the movie in its original format and in a slightly longer version. Since I couldn’t go, I can’t say whether it’s worth it, but I have to admit the whole procedure of dressing up and making a proper night out of it appeals to me. Plus, I imagine you get to be pretentious and wax poetic on the vivid colors and crisp image of the movie in Ultra Panavision 70, as opposed to the much inferior digital version, while gesticulating with your wine glass. Ah, one can dream.
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How to Finish Your Project

February 19, 2016 fun, miscellaneous 16

No idea how to finish that project you should have been working on for the last three months? As a chronic procrastinator, I have some handy tips for you. Here’s my ultimate guide for finishing your project. Guaranteed to work!


  1. Remember that new show everyone keeps telling you about? You should start watching it.
  2. Your parents always told you, but it took you this long to realize that a clean house really is a clean mind. This is the perfect time to become a cleaning monster and vacuum, scrub and dust every surface you can find. Daily.
  3. YouTube has more than one billion users. So many people can’t be wrong – it’s time to check back and catch up on your subscriptions, your suggested videos and that one cat video you watched three years ago and then couldn’t find anymore. Look for it now, what’s more fun than a quest?
  4. Made it to the library to work on your paper? Phenomenal, take a break. You deserve it. Put on The Great British Bake Off, get yourself an actual cake from the cafeteria and kick back to appreciate the fine art that is turning boring ingredients into something magnificent. If one of your friends stops by, lecture them on the importance of breaks. People say they do their best work when they’re under a bit of stress, but they’re clearly wrong. Stress is unhealthy. So is your cake, but at least it’s delicious, and it’s more for your soul than your body anyway.
  5. You know where dust collects? On lamps. Get yourself a chair, dismantle that lamp and make sure there’s not a fleck of grey left anywhere.
  6. It’s time to be social. Reconnect with those old acquaintances from school you haven’t seen in ten years. Look for pen pals. Hell, why not be bold and sign up for those dancing classes three times a week you thought you didn’t have enough time or skill for. You have to make the time.
  7. What’s the opposite of procrastination? That’s right, productivity. The law of logic dictates that being productive means you’re not procrastinating, so if there’s project you’ve been waiting to realize, you should do it now. No time like the present. Who knows, it might even become profitable, and who could tell you you were wasting your time then?
  8. Now that you’ve spent so much time on YouTube, you should start thinking about making your own videos. You might have to think of a name and a concept and yes, you will have to learn how to film and edit from scratch, but it’ll be worth it. Just make sure to be consistent in your upload schedule. Twice a day should suffice for now.
  9. Just shove a pizza into the oven? Not you. You suddenly decide to start living healthy and make the pizza from scratch. And by from scratch I mean you not only make your own dough, you grow your own freaking wheat. Tomato sauce? Well, better wait for the right season to harvest the sweetest tomatoes, because a subpar tomato sauce is not a tomato sauce you are going to subject yourself to. Clean away those old pizza cartons while you’re at it.
  10. You know what you need? A pet. Yes, you’ll have to walk your dog several times a day, but you’ll be more energized for it. And think of all the cuddly love you’ll receive. That should be sure to boost your spirits and give you the strength needed to finish your project.
  11. In fact, why not add another addition to your family? A baby is a project much more important and fulfilling than the one you’re working on.
  12. Unless you want to focus on your career right now and don’t think a baby fits in. That’s fine, but you should really put in some extra hours at work to get ahead. Not getting paid as much as you were hoping? Apply for a second job. But remember: Make the money, don’t let the money make you.
  13. And haven’t you always wanted to experience a different culture? You’re young and free and if you’re not you’ll want to feel that way again. Be daring and move to a different country. It’s important to expand your horizon.

And if all else fails, start writing lists and post them to your blog. There, I’m sure that was helpful to everyone involved.

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Speed Typing Test Review (How Fast Can YOU Type?)

December 29, 2015 discussion, fun, miscellaneous, writing 15

Help. There are so many more productive things I could be doing. But Kristen asked me whether I’ve ever done any typing tests in the comments of my speed reading test review, so you know what I’m doing for the next hour. I’m much more confident about my speed typing abilities than my speed reading abilities, but we’ll see how it goes. Please no one link me to anything that looks like a test, survey or buzzfeed quiz in the comments after this though, because I will have to forward my university expulsion letter and a bucket full of my tears to you.

typingtest.com

If you know me, you’ll know I did my research and totally didn’t pick out the very first test that came up when I Googled “typing test”. This test prides itself on being able to tell your “true” typing speed in 60 seconds (I wonder what a false typing speed would be) and is preset to give you a text from Aesop’s fables, but you can choose different texts to copy. I chose Space Cowboys, because that sounded a lot more fun.

I got 64 words/minute with 1 error, so 63 words per minute. I wasn’t sure if quotation marks and such counted as errors and the fact that the test always colored the next word I had to type blue distracted me a little even though it was supposed to be helpful (my brain is weird and confused but loveable, like Kirk from Gilmore Girls). The test says between 60 and 80 words per minute is fast, but the next level is “pro”, so you know I had to try it again. I left it on Aesop’s fables this time and got 77 words/minute with 2 errors, so still fast, but 5 missing to be a pro. I, um, got competitive with myself then. I chose Baseball Rules and typed 85 words with one mistyped word, so an adjusted speed of 84 words per minute, which officially makes me a PRO. YES, MY LIFE GOALS ARE COMPLETED.

You know I had to use this gif.



I also switched to German once and got a science-y text on musk deer (WTF) and typed 68 words/minute with 51 mistyped words and an adjusted speed of 0 words per minute. Um. I don’t quite know what happened there.
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Speed Reading Test Review (How Fast Can YOU Read?)

December 22, 2015 books, miscellaneous 15

I used to think I’m a fast reader.

In class, I was always among the first to finish a text. I read constantly at home, so it made sense that I’d be a speedy reader, right? Then, a couple of years ago, I was rudely awakened when I read the same text as someone else and they finished before I was done with the first quarter. A little later, I stumbled upon the Staples Speed Reading Test, and it confirmed my deepest fears: I’m a slow reader. DUN DUN DUN. I’d excuse myself by saying that English isn’t my mother tongue, but I read more in English than in German these days, so …I can’t.

For no particular reason at all, I decided to write a review of some of the speed reading tests my quick Google search yielded. It’s 1 am. I should probably go to bed.

The Staples Reading Test

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

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Working in Publishing as a Cougar: Younger

December 10, 2015 recs, reviews, tv shows 2

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


Today I want to talk about Younger. I just recently discovered this TV show when I was looking for something fun and new, and I binge watched the entire first season in a day. It focuses on Liza, a 40-year-old who pretends she’s a 26-year-old college graduate with a history of charity work in India to land a job in the publishing industry. She moves in with an artist friend in Brooklyn, gets herself a younger lover and makes friends at her new place of employment. Liza is played by Sutton Foster, who TV show geeks like me might know from her time as the leading character in Bunheads, the show co-created by Gilmore Girls maker Amy Sherman-Palladino and Lamar Damon that was sadly cancelled after just one season.



A huge reason why I like this show is that it’s set in the trendy New York publishing world bookish dreams are made of. It being a TV show it’s not as realistic as it could be, but all the book references are fairly awesome. I’m still waiting for the book blogger mentions, but maybe next season. More than that, almost all the important characters are women, which is a nice change from most shows. The show isn’t groundbreaking and it portrays millenials like a parody of themselves, but it’s fun to watch, and if the premise sounds good to you, I’d recommend giving it a chance!

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Ten Feel Good Movies For When You Need Some Light Entertainment

December 7, 2015 fun, miscellaneous, movies, recs 6

I was looking for posts on feel good movies earlier today, so I figured I’d just make one of my own. When I need some distraction, I tend towards the light and entertaining, and I could write a whole essay on why these kinds of feel good movies are just as important as all your dark, critically acclaimed epics, but I’ll give you this list instead. Feel free to add to it in the comments; I’m always looking for recommendations! These are some of my very favorites, the créme de la créme of movies that bring a smile to my face.

What a Girl Wants

The classic modern day Cinderella story set in London’s royal society, starring Amanda Bynes as Daphne Reynolds, a girl from New York who is trying to figure out who she really is. I’ve watched this movie too many times to count when I was younger, and I still enjoy it now. My memory isn’t usually good enough to quote movies, but I can mouth the lines to this one.


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Favorite Harry Potter Moments

November 26, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 14

I’ve been indulging in my Harry Potter addiction again recently, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments of the books/movies with you. I haven’t reread them, so this is a non-comprehensive, random list, but I thought some of you might enjoy it. :)

1. When Hermione hits Draco

I’m generally a very non-violent person, but there’s just something so satisfying about Hermione losing her shit and backhanding Draco. I think she slaps him in the book, but punches him in the movie? Either way, it’s glorious.


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Happy Endings Are …Underappreciated?

November 12, 2015 fun, recs, reviews, tv shows 4

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!




Happy Endings is one of the most underrated shows I’ve ever come across. No one I know has ever heard of it, let alone watched it, so it’s one of those I’m-the-only-person-in-my-fandom situations. I started watching it without realizing there were only three seasons and was completely dumbstruck when it suddenly ended. Still, there are three seasons, and they’re worth watching, so I’m giving it a shout out here.

What it’s about

You know how every TV show featuring an ensemble cast of friends gets compared to Friends? And how there are so many of them? Well, there’s a reason: a lot of times they fail, but when they work, they work (see: HIMYM). Happy Endings is one such show. It starts off with Alex and Dave at the altar, ready to get married. Only things don’t go according to plan, because Alex runs out on him, jeopardizing not only her relationship with Dave, but the entire dynamic of their clique. (Isn’t clique such a nineties word? I’ll keep it in here just because of that. And because I can’t think of another one at the moment, but psht.)
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Why I Don’t Go To The Library

November 10, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 19

This is sort of a companion post to Why I Don’t Review ARCs. I know it sounds like I’m just trying to be contrary, but I promise it’s more than just a leftover pseudo-rebellious streak from my teenage years. I think.

Let me start this off by saying I love libraries. I think libraries are one of humanity’s greatest inventions, and I spent about 90% of my childhood in one. For a couple of years, we had a library right next to our school, so it was basically get up -> go to school -> go to the library -> read -> go to bed, rinse and repeat. Then the library moved ten minutes away, and I had to walk up a hill to get there. Pretty sure that’s the most continuous exercise I ever got, which is saying something because it was a pretty short walk. I should look into gyms again.

So why haven’t I owned a library card in years and years? Well, my dear reader, much like Voldemort’s soul, the reason comes to you in seven parts. (If you’re asking what the eighth one is, it’s probably you.)

1. I’m lazy.

This should come as no surprise to you. I mean I’d have to actually leave my house and who wants that. Then I’d have to haul approximately fifteen books all the way to the library to return them and another fifteen from the library home. Why so many? BECAUSE BOOKS ARE SHINY AND I NEED OPTIONS. Like, seriously, they’re free no matter how many I take, so why limit myself?



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Tea and Milk and All Things Silk

October 21, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 12

I’ve been logged out of my own blog, so I figured it’s probably time for a new post. Alyssa created the milk tea tag ages a while ago and – in true Vlora fashion – I decided to do it months later. You’re welcome, creators of tags who would have run their course without me bringing them up once the bandwagon has long derailed, caught fire, and crashed into a mine wall. (Why a mine? Because I was on a 4D motion ride last week and the experience imitated driving through a mine in a wagon, which made me think of Gringotts at the time, but NOW whenever I hear wagon I think of mines. I didn’t say my head makes sense.) (Also, by “derailed, caught fire, and crashed into a mine wall” I mean that it is lovingly remembered and has its own Walk of Fame star.)


Tea: the foundation of your reading life

This one’s easy. I’ve read the Harry Potter books more times than I can count (I mean I probably could count it, because despite what my old math teacher thinks I can actually count all the way up to the double digits, but let’s not go there). They have a special place in my heart; Hogwarts is home; no need to call me Sir, Professor; yadda yadda. I’d show you a picture of my HP books, but some of them don’t have a spine anymore, and we’re working on building up their self-esteem at the moment.

seasonally appropriate Hogwarts gif


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The Amazing Post Is Not On Fire

October 9, 2015 books, fun, reviews 10


Hello reader,

In this book is a world. A world created by two awkward guys who share their lives on the internet!

We are Dan and Phil and we invite you on a journey inside our minds! From the stories of our actual births, to exploring Phil’s teenage diary and all the reasons why Dan’s a fail.

Learn how to draw the perfect cat whiskers, get advice on what to do in an awkward situation and discover which of our dining chairs represents you emotionally. With everything from what we text each other, to the time we met One Direction and what really happened in Vegas…

I remember exactly how I discovered Dan and Phil. It was a day like any other on YouTube, and I was watching one of Hank Green’s Sims videos. A lot of people in the comments mentioned these Dan and Phil guys and their owl slide. I had absolutely no clue what they were talking about, but for some reason I was probably procrastinating, I decided to check it out. Fast forward to 5 a.m. and I had watched the entirety of Sims 4 with Dan and Phil. There were about 12 episodes at the time. Despite my lurking on Hank’s gaming channel, I don’t usually watch gaming videos, but these were hilarious. I found out Dan and Phil have YouTube channels other than their gaming account, so I took a look at those as well, but it was more of a cursory glance, and videos like the photo booth challenge don’t really make me stick around.

A couple of months later, I randomly took another look okay fine, I was probably procrastinating again, and that was that. I watched videos like Existential Crisis, I Talk to Myself, Fandoms, and I Mumble, and had one of those OH MY GOD FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS ME I’M NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO DOES THIS moments. I know, I know, you’re never the only person who does this, but sometimes you need some equally weird person on the internet to remind you of that. Dan was that person, which is my excuse for spending an entire day doing nothing but watching his videos.

If you’ve read this far, you might be asking yourself okay, Vlora, but why the eff did you write all of this without even having gotten to the review part of this post yet? and you’d have a good point. I realize not everyone is as obsessed with YouTube as I am, leave alone these two tight trouser aficionados in particular, but I need you to understand something: I really wanted this book to be good. I feel fairly neutral about all the YouTube book deals, and the only book by a YouTuber (apart from John Green) I’ve read was Connor Franta’s, which I didn’t particularly like. I read Dan and Phil’s book the day it came out.
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Doing Things Exquisitely

September 20, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 20

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What’s New?

Gooood afternoon my squishy friends,

I hope you’re all well and swell. My week has been busy, but good busy. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been a little stressed, because I always had all the things I need to do for university at the back of my mind. I wasn’t doing them because of all the other stuff, but I still had this nagging feeling all the time. Because of this, I’ve decided I’ll concentrate on one thing – the internship – and somehow do all my university things after. So technically nothing has changed, but it’s making all the difference, because I can focus on what I’m doing instead of resenting the time it takes me to do it.

I recently read a story whose moral it was “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing exquisitely” (or something like that, I forgot where I read it exactly). Obviously it’s the same thing as “If things are worth doing, they’re worth doing well”, but exquisitely is a much more fun word to say and write, so I’m sticking with that one. From now on, I’ll try to do things exquisitely more often.


The Shiny

Well, well, well. I did not get books this week. I got something a little… bigger. I GOT A CAR. Okay, technically, I didn’t GET it. It’s not mine; it’s just borrowed for a couple of months. It’s the most unlikely thing to happen to me ever, but in short: a friend of my grandma doesn’t need it the next couple of months and somehow thought of me and let me borrow it for free. I only have to pay for gas, which is still expensive, but it doesn’t use much, so… EFF YOU PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. I mean… it’s important to be green and stuff. BUT EFF YOU. Just goes to show you never know what life throws at you, I guess. I can do everything so much faster now! Mucho convenient.


Tune of the Week

O… Saya by A.R. Rahman and M.I.A.



I was a huge fan of M.I.A.’s Paper Planes even before I watched Slumdog Millionaire, but that’s not the only song worth paying attention to on the movie’s soundtrack. The theme song (Jai Ho), for example, won a very deserved Oscar. Let’s focus on O… Saya for now though. I love how it starts out almost otherworldly and then builds up until M.I.A. comes in and nails her part. I feel like the music fits the lyrics, and the whole song is just perfectly restless. Awesome stuff!

What’s your favorite movie soundtrack? Do you have/make book soundtracks? What’s the most unlikely good thing that’s ever happened to you?

I’m linking up with the Sunday Post hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

sunday post

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