Tech Review: Sony VAIO Duo Ultrabook Convertible (Sponsored)

I have been a devoted Mac convert for the past three years, but when I was given the opportunity to give the new Sony Vaio Duo Ultrabook Convertible, powered by Intel, a try, I couldn’t say no. What’s brilliant about the Ultrabook is that it’s both a tablet and a laptop. So, if you want to absent mindedly scroll through tumblr using the touch screen tablet, you can, or if you want to pen a blog post, you can flip up the screen and it becomes a super easy laptop.
The first thing I noticed, being a new University student, was how much lighter the Ultrabook Convertible was compared to my usual Macbook Pro. It’s the same size as an a4 sheet of paper, and is unbelievably light for the amount it does. It completely wakes up within seven seconds, so even if I was running late for a lecture (my life), I was able to start taking notes instantly.
One of my favourite procrastinations at the moment is re-watching Doctor Who. The Ultrabook Convertible was brilliant to assist me with this. The huge tablet screen played my shows with the highest clarity, and the extremely fast running speed meant that I literally had to wait seconds when switching between episodes. No such thing as freezing or lagging here!
Although I am out of practice with using a Windows operating system, I found Windows 8 extremely easy to work out. I found the touch-screen functionality to be especially handy when on the Home Screen, as you could just flick between pages of apps. It was all so simple.
A week wasn’t long enough for me to test out all the awesome functions that the Ultrabook Convertible brings with it, but everything I did test out far exceeded my expectations. It was excellent for taking notes in lectures, super useful for browsing social networking sites, and an absolute breeze to blog on.
I never thought I’d say this, but I didn’t even miss my beloved Mac a little during my week with the Ultrabook! That’s pretty much all the recommendation you need. 

This post was sponsored by Intel via Nuffnang, however all statements are fully my beliefs and opinions. 

frangipani princess xoxo

Nineteen.

Today is my nineteenth birthday. 

Nineteen. 

Far out, I feel old. 

For the first time in my life, I was not excited for my birthday this year. Eighteen was a pleasant enough age, I could do everything without being considered too old. I liked eighteen, not as much as seventeen, but I still liked it. But no, the world has to rotate around the sun and our stupid human ageing system marks me as a year older. 

Other than being able to legally drink in Canada, there is nothing special about nineteen. It’s a nothing age. Barely considered a teenager, but not the exciting parts of being an adult (are there exciting parts of adulthood? Because so far I’m just poor and spending my days being forced to read 17th century texts). . 

I just feel that by nineteen I should be accomplishing more than I have. That something more should be happening in my life. Nineteen is the first age where I’ve felt old, and I don’t like it. 

Okay, so I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life, but I’m a chronic comparer, and I can’t help but notice how much more everyone else seems to be able to achieve by their nineteenth birthdays. Some of them even manage to have paid (!!) magazine jobs. I just feel so…unproductive. 

In a conversation with some of my friends, I decided I should be turning twelve again this year. I act like a twelve year old most of the time, and if I was twelve, that would mean next year, instead of turning the dreaded age of twenty (I’m having nightmares already), that I would get to be thirteen again. Do all those silly teenage years over again, but with wisdom and hindsight. 

Quite frankly, I didn’t enjoy being a teenager. I didn’t do any of the stereotypical teenager-y things, and spent most of the six years (so far) on the internet. But I liked being able to say I was only fifteen, or still sixteen to people when I did accomplish things. It felt like I was achieving big things at a young age, and I liked that. 

But now I’m nineteen, and it’s expected for me to be a fully functioning adult. I just feel like nothing I do any more will be special, because it will be just what adults do. And as the years seem to be ticking away faster and faster, I begin to wonder if I will ever meet any of my dreams and goals. People my age are getting married, I’m still waiting for my first boyfriend. 

I’m having my quarter-life-crisis six years early. 

So happy birthday to me, I’m feeling a lot older, and not much wiser, and I kind of wish people would just give me presents and cake without the responsibility of actually ageing. 

frangipani princess xoxo
ps. For some less depressing birthday reads, you can check out what I had to say on my fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays. I was so naive. 

Listen: Epigrams and Interludes, Alex Day

One of my all time favourite artists, Alex Day, released his new album “Epigrams and Interludes” today. 

After his outstanding success over the past two years in the music department, including reaching number four on the UK Christmas chart with his amazing hit “Forever Yours”, releasing a twenty-track album at an absolute steal of a price was the obvious next step. 

The whole album is available on iTunes for $7, or because Alex is amazing, you can get ten songs for free and the whole album for $5 via BitTorrent

Alex’s music is so inspired, and never fails to make me grin like a loser. His music is inspiring and brilliant and just pure joy inducing. I’m yet to hear a song of his that doesn’t make me want to dance around, laugh, and put it on permanent repeat. 

One of the things I love most about Alex is that he insists on doing everything himself. He has turned down major record deals to stay true to himself and his fans, and in this newest album he definitely proves that that was the right decision to make. 

Today he also released the music video for his song “I’ve Got What It Takes”, which he says is the hardest video he’s ever had to make (and it’s definitely worth all the work he put in – brilliant is an understatement). Check it out below. 

“I’ve Got What It Takes” 

I don’t have a favourite of Alex’s songs, because they’re all so amazing, but Stupid Stupid is the one that makes me smile the biggest. The video only serves to make me happier than the song does. Watch it below! 

“Stupid Stupid” 

I have an interview with Alex that I’ll hopefully be posting in the next week, but until then, download his amazing album, watch his YouTube videos, and if you haven’t already, fall head over heels in love with him. 

Epigrams and Interludes is available now worldwide from iTunes, BitTorrent, or a hardcopy can be ordered from dftba.com. 

frangipani princess xoxo 

Watch: A Very Potter Senior Year

At the end of 2009, I was bored and decided to follow a link to something called “A Very Potter Musical”. I didn’t think much of that one action at the time, but I have since realised that it completely changed my life. 

Fast forward to this morning and the release of A Very Potter Senior Year, the final instalment in the A Very Potter Trilogy. 

We have known that this was coming for quite a while. The only performance of it was a staged reading at Leaky Con 2012, and they were initially unsure if they would even release it on youtube. In December they released the soundtrack and script on The Starkid Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company Website, and for a while, we were content. It was something. 
But then they announced they would, after all, be uploading it onto youtube. 

As the countdown got closer, I told myself I wouldn’t watch it. That if I left it be, it would never be over. After all, we all remember how much of a mess I was after watching the final Harry Potter movie, or you know, ever finishing any tv series ever. 

But, then I saw the cast tweeting about it, and I gave in. 

Five hours later, here I am. Tears still threatening to spill, and my heart irreparably shattered once more (who said you need a boyfriend to cause a broken heart?!), I just underwent an emotional roller-coaster of “The End Of Time Part 2” proportions. 

I honestly don’t know where to begin recounting the experience that is watching AVPSY as a massive Starkid fan. 

It was hilarious, and outrageous, and rude, and heartwarming, and basically every adjective we have come to associate with Team Starkid, and more. 

Story wise, the team stuck to the canonical events of The Chamber of Secrets, except making it occur in the gang’s senior year. There is parseltongue hilarious enough to warrant a facebook status, and an amazing appearance from Moaning Myrtle. I initially wasn’t sure how going back to the second canonical story would work in seventh year, but it was so much better than I could have imagined. 

All of your favourite characters are present in the performance (with bonus!Evanna Lynch as Luna), and the entire show is a culmination of jokes from the previous two shows (with, as usual, extra Glee references when it came to Darren). I definitely found myself squealing more often than not as all of those brilliant sayings we have come to love made appearances (and yes, there is a Finding joke, but it’s so amazingly good I won’t even start spoiling it for you). 

For an almost five hour show, it is surprisingly light on songs, but those that are included are of the highest quality. There are lyrical references in jokes to past songs, as well as reinterpretations of favourites, and the song that never fails to make me sob (spoilers, sweetie) was even featured in it’s original version (cue tears everywhere). 

As it was just a staged reading, there were mistakes, and the cast held scripts, but it was adorable and awkward and just worked, because it was them. They are the most perfect group of actors you could ever come across, and to think that they started this as a group of college friends is mind boggling. 

If I had to pick stand out favourite moments, I would have to narrow it down to two. 

One, would be the whole Tom Riddle storyline (Joe Walker, as usual, is outrageously talented), but especially the moment when he first arrives at Hogwarts and meets his friends. Just…amazing. And (spoilers) but you will get to see a dance-off between Tom Riddle and Lucius Malfoy. If for nothing else, it’s worth watching just for that. 

The second, and what appears to be the overall standout moment as voted by the internet, comes right at the end of the second last scene. Darren Criss, as Harry, is saying goodbye to Hogwarts, but for a moment, breaks character and looks at the audience, saying in his regular voice “it has been…totally awesome”.

And with that, fangirl hearts around the world shattered. 

You can watch A Very Potter Senior Year here, but be warned, have tissues at the ready. 

It is definitely a fitting end to one of the most brilliant trilogies ever. 

Rating: 6/5 

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch (And Listen): Mt. Zion

If you love a Kiwi accent as much as I do, and want an awesome, family-friendly movie to check out this weekend, you should hit up Mt. Zion. 

Starring the amazing Stan Walker, Mt. Zion tells the story of Turei and his family who are potato farm contractors. But Turei, a talented musician, has bigger dreams, which in 1979 involve opening for Bob Marley on his tour of New Zealand. But to realise his dreams, Turei must face his traditional family who believe in devotion to the land, not music. 

Released in Australian cinemas today through Sony Pictures, Mt. Zion is expected to fare extremely well at the box office. It was the number one film in New Zealand this past week, and amazing reviews have been coming from our Kiwi cousins. 

The soundtrack for the film, released through Sony Music, will be available in our stores tomorrow. The soundtrack has a unique Maori take on the traditional reggae associated with Marley. You can check out Stan Walker’s single, Take It Easy, below. 

frangipani princess xoxo

Notes From A University Student

You are now reading the blog of an official university student. I have the ID card and everything to prove it. 
Since you last heard from me I’ve made the big move, seven hours north, to my new home at The University of Sydney. I’ve also survived O-Week, begun two internships, and completed an entire week of classes (well, not quite because tutes don’t begin until Monday, and classes today were cancelled due to a strike. But still.) 

So far, everything is going splendidly. The people at college are lovely, my lecturers are interesting, and I adore living in Sydney. There have been moments of homesickness, but then I look out my window and think, “oh yeah, you’re finally starting to live your dream life” and I get happy again. 

The only downsides are the expense of public transport (this wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t insist on interning and frequent trips to purchase fast food), and the fact that I have to do my own laundry. I’m pretty sure one of these days everything is going to end up accidentally dyed a hideous shade. 

I apologise for the quietness on the blogging front over the last few weeks. At first I had to pack, and say goodbye to friends and family, and then once I moved in, I really wanted to try and focus on settling in and not locking myself in my room with a laptop. 

Never fear, regular blogging shall commence immediately, and I hope you enjoy the tales from my new life. 

frangipani princess xoxo

Listen: MKTO

There’s a hot new duo making waves in the music world, with their aim to be a voice for teenagers who don’t necessarily fit the mould of high school. MKTO, which simultaneously stands for the real-life besties initials (Malcom Kelley and Tony Oller) and Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts, have an awesome sound of pop, hip-hop, and rock. 


Their first single, “Thank You”, was the number one most added song to Australian radio last week, and it won’t be long before it’s topping the charts. The song is a bit of an anthem for teenagers who feel let down and jaded by adults and society. It’s totally catchy, and will have you singing along in no time at all. 


The boys have an album, “Role Models” coming out through Columbia Records later this year. They say the album will be a mix of softer ballads, more up-tempo party songs, and a healthy combination of pop and R’n’B. 

If their debut single is anything to go off, the duo are definitely one to watch. 

frangipani princess xoxo

PS. Eagle eyed Disney fans will know that Tony Oller was a star of the American version of “As The Bell Rings” – even more reason to love him! 

Listen: 5 Seconds Of Summer

Last night it was revealed that Aussie band 5 Seconds Of Summer would be opening for One Direction on their world tour. On twitter this morning, the band followed up by saying they would be opening in the UK (including Ireland), Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, which is so amazing. 

This is such exciting news for the four piece band of teenagers from Western Sydney, who were initially discovered by 1D on youtube. 

The boys have an awesome mix of pop, rock, and absolute brilliance. Their music is addictive, and able to be loved by people of all ages. Although the younger members of the band are just sixteen, the music is mature beyond their ages. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to dance and have fun, and definitely sing along.

credit

If you haven’t heard of 5 Seconds Of Summer, you should probably head straight to iTunes and download everything they have released (two EPs, equalling eight songs) because they are definitely going to be the next big thing. 

They have also just released a new single, Heartbreak Girl, which can be downloaded for free here

I have loved 5 Seconds Of Summer for a while now, and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys for scoring this awesome gig, and getting the recognition they so greatly deserve. 

Proof that cute boy-bands do rule the world. 

frangipani princess xoxo

Book Review: Night School, and Night School Legacy by C.J. Daugherty

After Allie gets arrested for the third time in one year, her parents decide enough is enough, and ship her off to boarding school in the hopes she’ll straighten out. Except it’s not just a regular boarding school. Cimmeria Academy is a world unto itself, cut off from the regular world, and all forms of technology. When Allie first arrives and learns all the archaic rules, she wonders what she’s got herself into, a thought that only increases in intensity after she hears whispers of big secrets lurking in the shadows of the school. 

But she surprises herself, and before long, begins to think of the ancient academy as home. She meets bubbly Jo, gorgeous Frenchman Sylvain, and irresistibly dreamy Carter West. But as she forms relationships, she has to figure out just who she can trust, and who’s hiding things that could potentially ruin everything she is beginning to love. And do the biggest secrets lie not with strangers in the dark corners of the school, but a lot closer to home? 


Night School is a gripping YA mystery. I read the novel in one sitting, not able to put it down until I discovered all the answers Daugherty masterfully weaves throughout her story. When I read most mystery novels, or even just most novels in general, I find myself being able to guess the ending or the “surprise twists” before they occur. Part of what made Night School so awesome was that it kept me guessing, right until the very end. 

The sequel, Night School Legacy follows on a few weeks after the events of the original novel. We get reunited with Allie, Carter, Jo, Rachel, Sylvain, and the rest of the crew from Cimmeria academy. This time Allie gets to join the mysterious Night School, but while she thinks it’s what she wants, she soon discovers that she may be in more danger than she ever realised. With a powerful grandmother she’s only just discovered exists, and a missing brother who she’s worried might be on the wrong side of the fight, Allie realises that this term might just be more eventful than the last. 

Night School Legacy was just as gripping as it’s predecessor, and had me glued to it’s pages until the very end. Some sequels feel tired, or just don’t live up to the original, but this was definitely one that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

If you’re looking for an interesting YA read, with nothing paranormal in sight, than the Night School books might just be for you. They’re a great mystery, with lots of action and adventure, but also the perfect amount of love and friendship to keep everyone satisfied. Definitely a read that almost everyone in the YA community will enjoy. 

Rating: 4/5
Published By: Atom Books (Hachette Australia) 
RRP: Night School – $17.99, Night School Legacy – $17.99

Available now where all good YA books are sold

frangipani princess xoxo

Book Review: Burned – Pretty Little Liars #12

It’s Spring Break, and Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna are thrilled to be leaving Rosewood for a cruise vacation. They envisage days of tanning, scuba diving, and partying, but of course, wherever the girls go, A follows. 

Soon the pretty little liars realise they’re being followed, and that all their deep, dark secrets they’d tried to conceal are in very real danger of being revealed. But the girls were convinced  that Real Ali is dead. So who is this new A? Or did Real Ali somehow make it out of the fire alive? 

Add in new love interests (times two), some suspects (times two), a scavenger hunt, schoolyard rivals, detective work, and some very big secrets, and you have the perfect recipe for an awesome addition to the super popular series (and to the YA genre in general). 

I have read the first book in the series, and watched a few episodes of the TV show, but found that Burned was written in such a way that it didn’t matter that I’d skipped eleven books. Important events were recounted, characters re-introduced, and relationships re-examined in a way that would possibly be annoying for someone reading the whole series, but that was perfect for me. 

I read the whole novel in about two hours, so it’s an easy, yet addictive, read. The characters are relatable, the storyline addictive, and Sara Shepard has absolutely mastered the art of suspenseful YA writing. 

I’m sure fans of the series will be happy with this instalment. 

Rating: 3.5/5
Published By: Atom Books
RRP: $16.99