Astrid*Stars: September 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Week With TV: Fall TV Week 1

My Week With TV Fall TV Week 1 Premieres
*May contain Spoilers*
Fall is officially here, if only someone would give Los Angeles the memo (seriously still so HOT). It is my favorite season for many reasons such as sweater weather (when it finally cools), pumpkin everything and my birthday (Holla!). When I was a student, the beginning of the school year signaled the start of the season for me, but I'm no longer a student. One thing that still signals the beginning of the season for me though is the start of Fall TV!

But before I get to what caught my eye during the first week of premieres, let's talk a little bit about the Emmy's. I know I wrote about the shows I would try to get through before the Emmy's aired, but I'm still making my way through them. So far I finished Parks and Recreation (which I loved) and Silicon Valley (also loved and so funny). Now as for the awards, I am mostly pleased by who won, but overall found them to be a bit dull. The top 3 highlights for me were Viola Davis win, Jon Hamm's butt, and Tracy Morgan's return (I had tears).

Anyway, here are the shows I had looked forward to during the first week of premieres, starting with the brand new shows first:

My Week With TV Fall TV Week 1 Premieres Scream Queens

Scream Queens-  This show from the creators of American Horror Story and Glee centers around a sorority house which seems to be the primary target of a serial killer, dressed in a devil suit nonetheless. I mostly saw this because I liked the cast and the shows the creators were previously attached to (though I tired of Glee). This was the first show I tackled for the week and it was pretty funny, plus has a lot of twists which I always enjoy in a show. I'll see how long I stick to this show though because the one thing I didn't fully enjoy was how campy it was. (On Fox Tues. at 9pm).

My Week With TV Fall TV Week 1 Premieres Limitless

Limitless- Ok so this fall I noticed a couple of networks have decided to turn feature films into shows and Limitless was the first of this batch to premiere. I saw this last night as I caught up with this week's premieres. Mind you, I never saw the film it is based off of, but knowing the concept, I was intrigued. If you aren't familiar with the film, that's ok though. Both the show and the film center around a pill that basically puts your mind into hyperdrive and gives enhanced mental acuity( i.e. your IQ x4). The show isn't a remake of the film, but more so a continuation of it. The show stars Jake McDorman, but does feature the film's star Bradley Cooper. I loved how much action is in this show, but that its also mixed in with a little science. Will definitely keep watching this. (On CBS Tues. at 10pm).

My Week With TV Fall TV Week 1 Premieres Blood & Oil

Blood & Oil- This show centers around a young couple who have just moved to a North Dakota town that seems to be the new big oil boom, however they soon realize they may in way over their heads, especially when it comes to the big oil tycoon who seems to be running it all. I have to be honest, my main reason for watching this one was Nathaniel Archibald I mean Chace Crawford (sorry still having Gossip Girl withdrawals), but I actually really enjoyed it. It is very high drama so I am not surprised ABC put it in their Sunday night line up. I almost feel like its a combination of Revenge and There Will Be Blood. I will say though that it can get a bit Soap Opera-y so be warned.(On ABC Sun. at 9pm).

There are still some brand new shows I need to see, but I was pretty busy this past week and also totally forgot some were premiering (oops). It probably doesn't help that premieres seem to be a bit all over the place this year. The ones I still am curious to catch up with are Quantico, Heroes Reborn (b/c you gotta save the cheerleader), Blindspot, The Player (b/c my friend works on it) and Minority Report.

Now for the shows that came back this season:

Mysteries of Laura- I started watching this last season and found it to be a very cute procedural comedy. What can I say, I am a sucker for cop shows, plus love Debra Messing in this role. *Spoiler Alert* In the season premiere Jake(Laura's ex husband) has been temporarily replaced as chief while he is on medical leave. However, the temp chief is not any of the precinct's cup of tea and everyone is  trying to show the new chief how things get done there. Oh and the case for this show centers around the kidnapping of a child, but with twists, obviously.

Then there was #TGIT:
My Week With TV Fall TV Week 1 Premieres TGIT

Grey's Anatomy- I was a bit hesitant to watch the season premiere because well *spoiler alert, not really* McDreamy is dead so I wasn't sure if it would still be the Grey's I've loved and cherished. However, I'm glad I did end up watching it. In the premiere, we see Meredith and Amelia try to cohabit in the aftermath of Derek's death. If you expect a really tearing soapy scene however, then sorry but that didn't happen, at least not pertaining to him. It actually felt very much like the old Grey's camaraderie (oh I miss the intern days). And the medical case centered around two teen girls who are struck by a train it was at first seems an accident, but is later revealed was an attempt to stay together (they were in love).

Scandal- Olivia Pope is back...and with Fitz! In case you forgot, last season ended with Fitz kicking Mellie out of the White House (she did a terrible thing, like for realsies this time) and so now it seems the door is wide open for Liv and Fitz to live out their fantasy, but again that would be too easy. While Fitz's camp is trying to keep up appearances that everything is fine, Olivia and Quinn (only Gladiator left right now) are trying too look into the death of a Princess (think Kate Middleton). But the biggest scandal comes at the end of the episode!

How to Get Away With Murder- Out of all the Shonda Rhimes show premieres, I have to say this one was the one with the most bombshells! It seems that murders don't ever stop on this show, but then again you gotta keep with the title. In the season premiere, Annalise's students are trying to figure out where's Rebecca (they don't know she's dead) and we learn that Frank's not the only one with the willingness to kill. If you're not watching this show, then get on it!

Brooklyn 99- I must admit, I miss working on the lot where some of this show is filmed. But anyway, the gang is back with their shenanigans, except they have a new captain (yay, Bill Hader) and Peralta and Santiago are finally giving it a go. Still so funny!

There were other shows that premiered and many more still to premiere. If I didn't mention a show, it may be because it simply isn't my cup of tea or I still need to binge watch the previous seasons (sorry Empire). As the weeks go by, I may just start doing full reviews each week, let me know if you'd like that in the comments. Also share what shows were your favorite so far.  As for this coming week, I am looking forward to Grandfathered, The Grinder, Code Black and Homeland (catching up this week). Let me know if there is anything else I should watch. (And sorry for the long read).


Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites: Blog Tools

Friday Favorites: Blog Tools
*Contains Affiliate Links*

If you read my goals for the month, you won't be so surprised that my favorites this week are blogging related. My biggest goal for the month and future is to improve my blog so that I reach more people and make it more welcoming. Because of my focus on my goal of growing and improving my blog, I have begun seeking out some useful tools for both novice bloggers and the more experienced. But I'll keep it all short and simple since I took a sleeping pill so that I could wake up super early for a work-related run. Anyway, I digress. Let's see what my favorite blog tools are this week:

1.  Planners- I don't use my Day Designer as much as I'd like, but when I do, it really helps to keep me focus. I try to at least write the big dates in the calendar section so I have an idea of what't going on that month. And I just ordered two for next year. Also, I've begun mapping out my editorial calendar on it before I add it to a digital calendar.

2. Twitter Chats- These past few weeks I've become obsessed with Twitter chats, particularly, #FBLChat, #NectarChat, #Createlounge and #Ellechat. The chats are a great tool to learn how other bloggers are tackling their blog issues and also helps build friendships with other bloggers. 

3. Facebook Groups- These are like twitter chats, but in a more casual setting. Also, you have more than 140 characters to work with. A few good ones that I like are: Blog + Biz BFFs and Her Campus Blogger Network

4. Social Media Managers- Because of Twitter Chats, I've been using social media managers such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck have begun to be very important in my life. I've used Hootsuite before to schedule social media for blogs, and that alone helps save a lot of money. Recently, I've also heard about Meet Edgar, which allows you  'recycle' campaings/tweets. Many bloggers I know say that it has helped them so much with promoting their work and handling their social media.

5. E-Courses- Ok so these are something I'm excited to talk about. In my opinion, e-courses are one of the best tools bloggers should take advantage of. It's like taking a class just about blogging, cuz well that's what it is. They can be very specific or a little more broad on the topics they broach, but nonetheless excellent tools. This month I've signed up for two.

One of them is Pinfinite Growth and was created by Melyssa Griffith of The Nectar Collective. In it, she teaches bloggers on how to use Pinterest to their best advantage and also use it to grow their blogs. The other course or courses I signed up for was the Soloprenuer Success Bundle from One Woman Shop. This bundle is only $99 for the next 10 minutes and I have an affiliate link for it because I  really believe in this bundle. It contains advice and info from a variety of great bloggers.  I wish I would have push myself to sign up for E-Courses earlier and not been so lost.

If you are a new blogger or simply want to grow your blog, this list is essential. It will keep you organized for your blog and also give you blogger advice a plenty. Share any other blogger tools you use in the comments below.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Motivation Monday: What Motivates Us

Motivation Monday: What Motivates Us

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was definitely busy and productive, which hasn't happened in a while. Saturday alone, I managed to get in like 5 errands within the first two hours of waking up. I was quite proud of myself since it usually takes forever to motivate myself to do anything right away. Which got me thinking of a conversation I recently had with James about the different ways we are motivated. So why not start the week off on a positive note by talking a bit about what motivates us.

More specifically, I want to talk about how we may be motivated based on the way we absorb ideas or learn. For example, James is often motivated to try new things after hearing about them on podcasts. He is very much an auditory learner so it makes sense that he is influenced by these podcasts (think Joe Rogan and How Did This Get Made). One of the most recent ideas he shared with me is wanting to try out floating pools and cryotherapy (I'm in!) after hearing about it on a podcast.

In my case, I am usually more motivated by what I hear and see, but mostly what I see. I am very much a visual learner so my motivation is often drawn by what I read. Growing up I remember never accepting an idea or willing to try something unless I read about it. This really annoyed my mom because she'd try to give me advice, such as how drinking plenty of water is good for your skin, but I wouldn't believe her until I'd read it in a magazine article. Now I am mostly motivated by other bloggers I read such as The Nectar Collective  and Kayla Hollatz. Pinterest and Instagram also play a huge factor (hello travel pins and pics).

These are only two things that could possibly motivate us. The thing they have in common is that they come down to the fact that who we expose ourselves to can become our point of motivation. James listens to people he may admire or find credible, while I listen to the words I see written by someone I may admire or come to admire. It really comes down to the way in which we best absorb information or learn. 

I'm curious to see what motivates you. Share in the comments below if the above sound familiar or if you draw motivation in any other way. I hope this helps motivate you and helps fight the Monday blues.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Comfy & Confident with U by Kotex®

Comfy and Confident with U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners

Earlier today I was on a Google Hangout with Tuyen (miss my bestie) and we got to talking about bikini waxes and panty lines. Yay for girl talk! Anyway, we started talking about how important having the right pair of undies and feeling generally good about our lady bits is to our confidence. I confessed to her my pickiness in choosing the perfect pair of panties and my strong anti-VPL stance. But you know what makes the "perfect" pair even better?! U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners.

For me a good pair of undies are undies that are not only seamless to avoid my pet peeve that is a visible panty line, but also offer all-day comfort. I mean seriously, what is the point of avoid the panty line in the first place, if you are going to be squirming around in discomfort?! 

Comfy and Confident with U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners

Recently my sister introduced me to some undies that are both comfortable and VPL-proof. She had gotten a bunch of new undies at Pink by Victoria's Secret, but realized she had gotten them a size too small. Since I am usually a size down for hers, she decided to give me the undies she had not yet worn, knowing that these may be ones I would like. And I not only like them, I love them! And when I add the U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners, I love them even more!

The U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners just add to the comfiness of my new undies. They comfortably flex with my body and are soft, silky and breathable, which means I not only stay comfy, but also dry. This is super important to me since I'm getting back into my workout routines and I've been trying new classes (hello, kickboxing). Plus, they are the perfect backup for tampons and light flow days. 

U by Kotex® is as serious as I am about feeling comfy and confident. So much so that they are holding a #BringComfyBack contest. To enter the contest, all you need to do is visit and upload your creative pic or gif showcasing your best uncomfy face. 

Each month, one lucky winner will receive a $200 Urban Outfitters gift card, a Go Pro Hero 3 white camera, a $100 Sephora gift card and U by Kotex® products. At the end of the contest, the most creative selfie will be chosen and the winner will receive a trip to L.A. with a girlfriend, an exclusive U by Kotex® photo shoot to be their new social star and $2,000 spending cash! 

How AWESOME is that??!!! So don't forget to enter the contest and share with me what helps you feel comfy and confident in the comments below. And send me the link to your pics/gifs, I want to see all your best faces :)


Friday, September 4, 2015

Monthly Wishes: September 2015

Monthly Wishes: September 2015

First of all...OMG it's already September!! I can't believe how fast the year is going by and also how much I've slacked off during it LOL. At the beginning of this year, I had joined The Nectar Collective's Weekly Wishes link up and would occasionally also do a Monthly Wishes version. Sadly, the link up is no longer, but I still love the idea of setting up goals. That being said, I decided that its about time I really start planning out my months, at least, and so here we are with my Monthly Wishes for September.

As opposed to past Monthly Wishes (and Weekly) where I just choose a small number of goals, this time I've decided to just kind of run off a list because there is a lot I want to get done this month and I feel I need to give myself a little shove in the ass to get it all done. More importantly, I need to write it all into my handy dandy Day Designer and also follow through with making an editorial calendar. 

Personal Goals:
Blog Goals:
  • Design new site- i.e. banner, color code, etc.
  • Create Editorial Calendar- for this I will be using this as one of my guides.
  • Schedule posts in advance- including graphics.
  • Add all the blog chats I attend on Twitter to my planner/calendar.
  • Begin creating a business plan
  • Launch sponsor program/ads
  • Create a budget- since I want to invest on my blog
  • Sign up for E-Courses, starting with this one
  • Continue the 30 Day Blogging Challenge
  • Engage with my communities online
Other goals:
  • Work on my Youtube channel- starting with biweekly videos
  • Look for Freelance writing ops
  • Look for screenwriting courses
  • Finish screenplay....
Obviously I want to accomplish a lot this month and even though in the past I've tried to avoid overwhelming myself, I'm changing things up a bit. Mostly, I want to be busy and stay busy, but also still enjoy my life. I really want to work on all those things I've been afraid to do like going full force with my blog and my career. Also, I feel that by pushing myself, I am more likely to schedule it and having it all written a public forum helps!

What do your goals for the month look like? Share in the comments below and if you have any advice/links you'd like to share I will be in your favor.