The Amber Spyglass – the end of the line for Will and Lyra

So, after a few days of obsessively reading this, I am finally finished with the series. What am I talking about? Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, of course! I wrote two posts previously about the first and second installment of series in my book review category. They were both really exciting books, all about adventure and action and intrigue, Pullman does a great job of keeping you interested. He moves the setting of the series of Lyra’s world in the first book to our world in the second, which keeps things interesting. Also, he includes the introduction of new characters and more importantly new history of the known characters in the second novel.

But, the third book is his best to date. I’ve read a lot of books, but Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass easily makes its way into my top 3 of all time. It is an ingenious combination of moral/ethical questioning and his perfected sense of suspense. At the end of every chapter, I intended to stop and actually sleep, but simply could not. I wanted to read more. Finally, the culmination of everything that has happened in the series is here, and it is everything you’d want it to be. The author closes the series on a poignant note, wrapping up all the loose ends, but leaving you with questions about your own life, and your own beliefs. Will and Lyra finally meet their destinies, and uncover the truth about Dust. I could talk all day about the relatable themes and concepts in the books, but I don’t want to give anything away. If you’ve read this awesome series, let me know! We can start our own thread with the spoilers in it!

Posted by GirlMogul Rose

Adventurous Cuisine – Japanese Food

Hey everyone. Today, I went to rediscover the menu at my favorite Japanese restaurant. As you know, I’ve been inspired to try new things at local ethnic restaurants. Now I have decided to share them with you! I hope to inspire you to try new kinds of Japanese foods!

The first thing you must try is the most delicious dessert called mochi. It is basically a kind of ice cream dessert. Mochi is served as tiny balls made form ice cream and dough. The dough is typically made as rice dough, and completely encases the ice cream inside. They are completely delicious ice cream desserts that you can even pick up. Mochi comes in a variety of flavors such as strawberry and green tea.

Another Japanese menu item that is a hidden treasure is actually eel. I know it made sound weird, as I thought when I first heard it. I have always loved sushi, but avoided eel with all my power. I couldn’t even imagine trying it. However, there is a reason this aquatic animal is included in so many sushi dishes. The texture of eel is complimentary to the sticky rice and seaweed combination. Furthermore, the distinct taste of eel adds a depth of flavor to any roll. Usually, the eel is served on top of the roll over the rice. This is because then the eel is the first thing you taste, and therefore opening up your taste buds. Eel can be found in simple eel rolls, or as one of the many fish included in the traditional “rainbow” roll. Also, it can be served as a main entrée called “una don” which is grilled eel over rice.

The last traditionally Japanese dish I found worthwhile in trying was seaweed salad. I know a lot of people who are hooked on seaweed after trying it for the first time, and now I am one of those people! Seaweed salad is not slimy or dark or anything of adjectives you would think of at first. Rather, it is a vibrant green color and tastes so good. It is cooling and refreshing, but packs a lot of taste in very bite. Another benefit of eating seaweed salad besides the taste is the fact that seaweed is very healthy for you! It contains a lot of nutrients that cannot be found in other foods, so go ahead and your eat greens! (seaweed greens, that is)

And don’t Forget to Enter to Win This Week’s Giveaway – Best Friends Band

Posted by GirlMogul Poppy

Book Review – The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife
The Subtle Knife
Hi Girls, it’s Rose here. I wanted to follow up with another post about some of more my favorite books, the second one in his Dark Materials trilogy. The brilliant author Philip Pullman continues his story from The Golden Compass with the second book of the trilogy titled The Subtle Knife. While the first installment of the series takes place in a completely foreign world with bizarre characters and places, The Subtle Knife begins right here in our very own world. It starts with the introduction of a new, vitally important character: Will Parry. Although Will is young, he has already encountered the trouble that surrounds making tough decisions. Having to protect his mother and search for his estranged father, Will leaves his home in Oxford in our world and ventures to find John Parry, his dad.

In the beginning of his travels, he discovers a colossal secret that had been in plain view of the world- an entrance to another one. In this other world, he crashes into the world we first became acquainted with in Book 1. Will gets caught up the frenzy of Dust, what it means, and why everyone is after it. He also quickly realizes why people from all worlds are willing to wage war on the strange particles.

Read further in the journey of Will and Lyra as they try to get to the answers everyone is looking for before the Magisterium, the governing body of Lyra’s world. Trust me, it’s a book I just couldn’t put down. Honestly, I thought the first book was good. It was thrilling and suspenseful, but ultimately just a really good book. After finishing this one in just two days (I could NOT put it down!), I realized this series is so much more than Young Adult fiction. It has a deeper meaning, all while keeping me highly interested. I can’t wait to finish the third book, and will let you know as soon as I do!

And don’t forget to enter this week’s Giveaway – Best Friend Bands Bracelet Making kit
Posted by GirlMogul Rose

Review – Girl in a Fix

Ok girls, so usually I am not that beauty stuff, because hey, you know, beauty is only skin deep. However I did get a copy of Girl in Fix – Quick Beauty Solutions and thought is was kinda neat, especially because they gave me the scientific reason why a something would fix oily hair. And hey – you gals all I know, I love anything to do with science. And Girl in a Fix is a great book for several several reasons — it’s small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, it actually has QUICK and on-the-go fixes for daily problems, and it explains why they work. What else does a girl need?

Somer Flaherty and Jen Kollmer combined with Zest books to co-author this awesome guide. The book covers all the annoying problems you could have that could really ruin a good day. For example, it gives you solutions to issues such as oily hair, dark circles, split ends, rough cuticles, dry skin, and much more. What I personally liked best about the layout was that is gave you a quick fix to the aforementioned problem, and then told you why it worked. We all hear about those remedies from everything to face blemishes to dying hair, but I never try any of them because I trust that they work. Here, I get the scientific reason for why these home remedies work, which makes me understand the process. I also liked how the “fixes” the authors provide are money-saving as well. Especially in this economy, I need the make a big bang for my buck. Here’s an example of one of my favorite tips from the book, with some summarizing by me:

Problem: Split Ends
Solution: Take a few avocados, and mash them up in a bowl until it looks like a thick paste “or really good guacamole”. Rub the concoction into the hair, especially the ends. Leave on for 30 minutes, the shampoo and you’re done!
Why It Works: “Natural oils in avocado merge the split ends together and keep them glued in place through a few washes. This gives you a chance to postpone that haircut until you have a little extra cash flow.”

And don’t forget to enter this week’s Giveaway – Best Friends Bracelet Bands

Posted by GirlMogul Poppy