Travel Diary: Macau & Hong Kong

I think I have a serious case of perpetual wanderlust.

If you have been following me on Instagram, you would probably know that I recently went traveling. Although I never really unveiled where exactly I traveled to, I can finally say that I traveled around Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. I had such a blast and I decided to document my journey through the lens of my camera. I put together a little travel video and photo diary of my time in these amazing places.  I still am a bit of a rookie when it comes to film and photography, so the video may not be as amazing as a documentary on the Discovery Channel but tell me what you guys think!

photo diary!

Palm trees!
Hong Kong | Islands
More Wisdom Path photos!
Macau | Venetian
Hong Kong | Wisdom Trail
Macau | Ruins of St. Pauls
Hong Kong Big Buddha and Buildings
Hong Kong | Oceans
Hong Kong | Ngong Ping
Hong Kong | City-scapes and Sunsets

Hong Kong and Macau is a place with completely different people, stories and cultures. It’s rare for me to be placed in a face-paced urban environment like Hong Kong’s and it was overwhelming but eye-opening! I am so lucky and blessed to have gotten the chance to travel to these amazing places!

I hope you guys enjoyed the post. Do you guys like traveling? Where have you traveled to before?

#lovebooks Alicia

 

Taking On The New Year- 2017

2017

Hello!

I know this post is long overdue but I still wanted to write about the new year of 2017! You know that feeling you get when its the new year but you still don’t feel put together- that’s kind of how I feel at the moment. Hopefully, this post will let me clear things up and allow me to start afresh.

2016: a  reflection

When 2016 was beginning to draw to an end I felt slightly disappointed. In terms of world events, I was not too happy about the events that went down last year. However, in terms of my own personal achievements and life, I’m pretty content with where I am. 2016 was the year I began my Bookstagram (20th of January to be exact) and in less than a year I already have more than 4.2K followers which I am so happy with! Thank you to everyone who has supported and followed me because I would never have imagined surpassing 1000 yet alone 4000! In addition, 2016 was the year I completely changed my blog and I have gotten so much positive feedback from you guys and I feel like my blog has grown so much this year!

2017 goals:

There are so many things I want to achieve this year! Often my mind wanders and I end up setting unrealistic goals but this year I’m trying to avoid that. Here are some of the goals I want to achieve this year:

♡ Create and use a 2017 bullet journal
♡ Stop rushing things and take the time to step back and enjoy the moment
♡ Create timeless memories
♡ Branch out to other topics with my blog
♡ Organise school books and notes
♡ Meet new people and get closer to them
♡ Take the time to do the things you love
♡ Read at least 50 books
♡ Love everyone with all of your heart
♡ Take more photos

2017: Exciting Releases

There are so many exciting book releases this year that I can’t wait to get my hands on! Here are three of my most anticipated releases:

Hopefully, 2017 will be filled with happiness and excitement! I’m wishing you all a happy 2017! I just came back from a trip and (fingers crossed) I’ll be able to get my travel diary up soon! Thank you all for the amazing support I’ve received in 2016- it means the world to me!

Lots of love,
Alicia

 

The Get To Know Me Tag!

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Hello guys!! Today I decided to do another tag! What I love about tags, is the fact that I can express a little bit more about my opinions on certain books and I can introduce myself and my personality through my answers! I have never actually done the “Get To Know Me Tag” but I decided to do it today, as I love the concept of the tag! Thank you to Denise over at The Bibliolater  for tagging me! Everyone should definitely go check them out! They are some of the nicest bloggers out their and their blogs will definitely not disappoint you!

basics about alicia

IMG_2245Name: Alicia
Nicknames: A lot of people call me leesh, leeshy or a leesh! 🙂 A know quite a lot of Alicias and they all tend to hate the name Leesh but I’ve grown accustomed to it.
Birthday: May! 🙂 IT’S SO CLOSE!!!!
Star Sign: Gemini. Yes, the twins star sign. When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with horoscopes and birth gems but nowadays, I never read them and when, I do I never take them seriously.
Occupation: Student. I am a high school student and homework is basically my current occupation. When I’m older I would love to be doctor or a dentist but being a blogger or a vlogger would be an amazing job as well!

appearance

Hair color: Black! It’s such a boring color. I do get brown streaks in the sun and some people think my hair is a really dark brown, but no, my hair is black.
Hair length: Long. I only ever have my hair long as I think it suits me a lot better than short hair.
Eye colour: Dark Brown. Yes, another boring color! 🙂
Best feature: I don’t know!! I love my hair and I guess I love the looks and skin color of my ethnicity! 🙂
Braces: No. I don’t need braces and I don’t think I’ll be needing them any time soon!
Piercings: I only have my ears pierced. I don’t think I would want other piercings!
Tattoos: No. I’m not old enough!
Right or left handed: Right Handed! I used to be obsessed with being ambidextrous but I have come to the realization that I am only right handed!

firsts

Best friend: My first best friend was one of my friends, Kaitlyn. However, sadly I moved and we have been apart for nearly five years. We still keep in touch and hopefully, I’ll see her again soon!
Award: I don’t actually remember! I do remember getting a writing award when I was younger and so I’ll have to say a writing award!
Real holiday: When I was about two years old, I went on a real holiday to Paris. Unfortunately, I do not really remember it, I only have one memory from the actual trip!
Concert: Sadly, I have never been to a real concert because I have never been a true fan for many artists. Except for Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes!!! However, I have never been to any of their concerts before. I plan on ticking off “going to a concert” on my bucketlist soon!

favorites

Film: I guess, I don’t really watch many movies because I am a restless person and I can’t make myself sit down for two whole hours to watch a moving image on a screen. However, I love any chic flic! Especially, Mean Girls! I love it and it’s one of my favorites!
TV Show: Teen Wolf!! Is anyone a Teen Wolf fan? I absolutely love it and I love the characters and action throughout the series.
Color: Mint Green! I have loved this color for such a long time and I don’t think I’ll be changing anytime soon!

Song: I couldn’t just choose one song! I love so many at the moment. UGH! I CAN’T CHOOSE!! I’m loving Ariana Grande’s latest songs, such as Dangerous Women, Let Me Love You and Be Alright! Her latest songs are definitely under-hyped and I definitely recommend them! Of course, I am absolutely loving Shawn Mendes’ and Selena Gomez’s songs but I think that’s pretty obvious! I am also loving Justin Beiber’s Company! Just like Denise, here is a spotify playlist you guys can click play on:

Restaurant: I love healthy cafes and restaurants! I am loving a shop called Top Juice which has some amazing salads! I also love a health cafe called Combi, which has some of the most amazing raw deserts.
Shop: I am going to give you some of the most typical answers but I love H&M, Nike and Forever 21! They are the best!
Books: You can’t ask a book lover what her favourite book is, because you are literally pulling me apart by asking this question. I think my top two series are The Infernal Devices and Lux!
Shoes: This is going to sound superficial but SHOES ARE MY LIFE! I just love buying shoes but I am very picky with my shoes! I love my Nike Roshes and I love some suede ankle boots from Windsor Smith that I adore!

currently…

Feeling: A little bit frazzled and mostly happy! I don’t really have anything to be upset about at the moment and I try to keep a positive mindset to most things. I am feeling a little frazzled because I have quite a lot of homework and upcoming tests!
Single or Taken: Single as a pringle!
Eating: Well I’m not really eating anything but I might have a smoothie later on tonight! I had a pretty light dinner.
Watching: I’m not watching anything because just like movies, I don’t really watch many TV shows! I’m waiting for Teen Wolf to come back! I have had a lot of people who have told me to watch Gossip Girl so I might try to squeeze in an episode this weekend!
Wearing: Pyjamas, which are just a pair of yoga pants, a NY T-shirt and a hoodie! I know…an interesting choice but I’m going to sleep in a few hours anyway!

future

r3ji2peChildren: This is an interesting question…because I love the concept of raising a child until they grow up but I don’t know if I will ever be mentally prepared to carry a child in my stomach and raise it for the next 20 years of my life! Does anyone else understand me?
Marriage: Hopefully one day! I think it’s a life goal, I definitely have! However, I am very choosy when it comes to boys but it’s still ages away until I’ll be able to marry and so I rather not dwell on it at the moment!
Careers: Like I said earlier, I would love to do something in the field of medicine and science because I’ve always had that passion. I would love to be a blogger or vlogger too! Who knows what I’ll become?
Where you want to live: Toronto or LA! I’ve loved both of these cities from when I was young! I’ve visited LA a few times and I love how it’s the centre of everything but the only problem is, LA is a very crowded city! I love Toronto as well and I think I would love to live in the city
of Toronto one day!

beliefs

d32ed23God: No! I guess, I have never really believed in the concept of there being an upper person in our world. I have grown up with the knowledge of many religions but I have never really believed in one.
Miracles: Not really but sometimes it’s nice to think that their are miracles in our world. However, I don’t really believe in it from a religious point of view.
Love at first sight: I don’t really know! I think I’m still too young to make a proper judgement but I don’t really believe in it. How can you love someone when you first see them? It’s kind of similar to judging a book by it’s cover. Just because they look amazing doesn’t mean you’ll fall in love with them.
Ghosts: No! I read ghost stories but I think it’s childish to believe in ghosts.
Aliens: You never know! I think that it’s kind of egocentric if we think we are the only beings in our universe! The possibilities are endless in this vast universe and for all we know there could be aliens out there!
Soul mates: I’ve always loved the idea that love is fate and since I’m too young to really fall in love, I would like to think that we have soul mates!
Heaven/hell: No. I don’t really think we have a heaven or a hell. My point of view is that, “Afterlife is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss,” (Any Looking For Alaska Fans?) I think that afterlife and heaven/hell is just something we have made up to ease the pain of death and loss. Who knows though?
Kissing on the first date: Sure…I guess! I mean, if you have known your boyfriend/girlfriend for all a very long time before you were officially together,  then if you want to kiss on your first date then go ahead.
Yourself: I think this is something we all struggle with. I believe that all humans are born with the same clear slate and capabilities, and as we grow older we experience different things which causes all of us to be individual. Therefore, if someone else can do something, you can do it yourself. That’s the kind of motivation I give myself. So, if someone else asks if I believe that I can do anything, I like to prove it to them and say that I can do anything!

i tag:

Sammie at Bookshelves and Biros
Jenny at Monica Book Lover
Among The Pages
Sakina at A Forest of Books and Memories
Whitney at I Love Books Girl 

what are some of your answers to these? i would love to read them and get to know you more, down below!

How To Make Your #bookstagram Pictures Look Amazing! (How I edit my Insta-Pics! ❤ )

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Hi!!!

Okay, first of all, let me establish this, I am no professional when it comes to taking photos and my photos aren’t really perfect. I mean I only started my Instagram about a month or two ago but I have been getting lots of questions about how I edit my bookstagram photos! Thank you to everyone who always comment the nicest things on my photos because lets be real, my photos aren’t anything that amazing! But your comments always rock my day! Anyway, today I thought I’ll give you a little run down on how I edit my instagram photos! I’ve learned so much over the past month on photo-editing, photography and lets not forget all of you guys on the #bookstagram community because you guys are amazing! BTW: If you want to follow me I’m @hashtaglovebooks.alicia !

First things first (I’m the realest), I take most of my photos on my DSLR, Nikon D3200. Obviously, you do not need to take photos using a DSLR, before I had my camera I used my phone for the longest time and the photos turned out amazing. However, after a long time of getting frustrated with the exposure and quality of some of the photos taken by my phone I got a DSLR. I’m still learning how to use it and I’m pretty sure I don’t even know how to hold it properly but I like the way I have a bit more manipulation and control over the photos I take.

This Is Me (Trying) To Look Professional. :)
This Is Me (Trying) To Look Professional. 🙂

Usually, I’ll take all of my photos on the weekend because that way I can ensure that I’ll edit it all on time and that I can edit it without having to rush and worry about taking more photos again. Also, the lighting is usually the best on the weekend because I’m actually at home from about 8am to 9am which is when there is the best lighting! Normally, I’ll take about three photos of the same type of layout because that way, I can actually choose from a wide range of photos. I’ll then upload my photos all onto my computer where I’ll choose the best ones to edit. I use  Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos, which is one of the most popular programs out there! I like how easy it is and it usually keeps the quality of my photos. Here is an example of an original photo I took that hasn’t been edited:

DSC_0184

Here are a few examples of how I edit my photos. I first crop it to the size of a square so I can see how it’ll look on Instagram and so I can get the proportions of my photo to a correct ratio. To make my photos stand out I like to turn up the vibrancy and saturation. I also expose my photos because usually my photos are little bit darker than how I would like and then I’ll turn up the highlights as well, just to get rid of unnecessary dark shadows. I also like to sharpen my photos so that the title or words on books will look a bit clearer because it sometimes gets lost in the photo.

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For me, I like my feed to have bright vibrant colors, with a white background. I like having a white sheet as my background as it adds a nice background to all my photos. However, I’m super choosy when it come to photos so finding the perfect white balance between the photo will take a while. Once I finish editting photos  I save the photo and export it to Google Drive, where I’ll download the photos onto my phone and then I’ll save it onto my phone to edit it on apps like VSCO Cam.

I like to put a filter on my photos because it just keeps my Instagram feed a bit more unified, even though, I have to admit that my feed is a little bit messy but I put a filter on my photos anyway. Usually I’ll put the F2 or A5 filter because it keeps my photos white and crisp. I also like to use A Color Story and for that I’ll use the Ice Ice filter. A Color Story has various editting features and it is a great alternative to programs like Light Room. Here are a few examples of how I use these two apps: (The first one is A Color Story and the other two are VSCO Cam)

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Then I’ll post it on Instagram at around 6:45pm everyday! I love using the app Crowdfire because that way I can actually schedule my posts because if you know anything about me it’s the fact that I forget to do things, a lot. Anyway, besides the whole making your feed aesthetic I think another major maybe even more important facet about bookstagram is the amazing people you meet! Okay that was a little cheesy but seriously I love all of the lovely people you meet on Instagram!

ps: if you want to follow me i am @hashtaglovebooks.alicia ! comment your instagram account names i would love to see your pics.

New Beginnings, New Books and Friends!! Bookish Talks, Hauls + Book Club


eowjHello, Everybody!! It’s nearly the end of February and oh, how this month has been one joyride. So many exciting things have happened this month and I can’t wait to share some of this stuff with you guys! I also have a small book haul too!

Bookish Goodies

I finally picked up, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes! I actually haven’t watched the trailer yet because I IMG_3352don’t want to ruin the book for myself. This is going to sound crazy but I love books that make my cry. I just love the thrill of emotions you get from reading the words that have been arranged in a way that sparks tears behind your eyes. It’s like magic! I actually haven’t read a book which has made me cry, this year and I kind of am hoping that I’ll cry in this! I’m reading this book as part of #thereadingrebels but I’ll talk more about that later! Have any of you guys read this book?

 

 

DSC_0009I also got a few books from some super kind publishers! I received The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub and I also got When We Collided by Emery Lord! I’m super excited to read When We Collided because if you have read Open Road Summer you would know how cute this contemporary was. When We Collided is very different but it says in the description that it’s perfect for fans of All The Bright Places and Eleanor and Park! Guess who loves both of those books? I do and I can’t wait to dive into this book! The Yearbook Committee is a book by Sarah Ayoub and it’s another contemporary that follows the story of five completely different teenagers who are going through the ups and downs of the last year of school. I also just received an ARC of Amy Zhang’s newest book This Is Where The World Ends! I haven’t actually read any of her books but I’ve heard lots about her contemporaries and I look forward to reading This Is Where The World Ends! I also preordered Lady Midnight and with it I got a Rune Keyring and lots of bookmarks! I can’t wait for this book to be released!

Library haul! Yes, I picked up Jenny Han’s The Summer When I Turned Pretty because I’m going to be re-reading it *gasps*! I know, I don’t really re-read but I actually haven’t read this book since the first book first came out and  I only remember the names of the main characters and not the actual storyline. I also picked up Love Letters To The Dead, The Young Elites and The Last Time We Said Goodbye!

Book-Club Fun! The Reading Rebels!

This month I’ve joined the group of moderators at The Reading Rebels! I am so excited to read along side all you rebels! Basically, the #thereadingrebels is a book club which you guys can join and we’ll be reading a book every month! This February its Truthwitch and next month, it’ll be Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You! We’re also on Instagram @threadingrebels ! Through this book club, I’ve also met heaps of new bookstagrammers and other book bloggers, which brings me to the next part! :

The AMAZING community of book bloggers and bookstagrammers!

I actually can’t believe it. A very long time ago (well, actually two months ago but that’s a long time for me, someone who is actually really impatient), I used to never really be a part of the book blogging community. I mean, I would like and comment once in a while but I never did it consistently. Since the end of January, I’ve been really trying to engage with the community and I’ve met and become closer with so many amazing people! Here are some of these super kind people:

Syc @Lit Mermaid
Analee @Booksnacks
Tiffany @tiffanybooks
Linh @thinpaperbacks
Kristen @Simply Bookish Things
and many more!! *cues the Big Virtual Hug*

More Bookish News + February Reads!

DSC_0002Here are some more little bookish news! I have  restarted a newer and nicer bookstagram for my blog, which you can find on the right or @hashtaglovebooks.alicia ! I actually can’t believe it because for some bizarre reason, I have managed to get 1000 amazing and lovely followers on this account and I actually can’t thank you guys enough! ALSO *QUES THE INTERNAL FREAKING OUT* I bought a DSLR! OMG! I actually can’t believe it, I’ve been wanting one for more than a hundred years and I finally got one, as an extremely early birthday present. This means that I’ll be able to take many more amazing new photos! Now onto my February reads! I’m actually hiding because I’ve read so little this month, it has just been so jam-packed, and I have to get into the rhythm of school, blog, photography, homework and sport (#firstworldproblems) but seriously, though, I think I only just discovered my regime and hopefully, I’ll read more! I can feel a little bit of a reading slump creeping up on me but I’m trying to have a no-reading slump streak and so, I’ve been trying to read more!

This February, I’ve read The Young Elites series, which I absolutely adore I have a review that I posted early this week! I managed to read Cinder as well and I can’t wait to finish the rest of the series! I also just finished The Yearbook Committee which was a fun contemporary that I really enjoyed! Now, I’m currently reading When We Collided!

So, Thank You!!! You guys seriously rock my world, and even though I may not have a thousand followers on this blog the amount of amazing people I have met is unreal! I have had an amazing month and I can’t thank you enough!

How was your February? What do you plan on reading next month?