Summing It Up: January 2016

Summing It Up January

Clever, right? I’m quite enjoying the many variations of my name for this blog. First “Summer Says” (my bookish discussion series that has kind of been revived recently) and now this? “Summer you’re such cheesy dumpling.” Yes, I know.

Anyway, this isn’t really a new blog series or anything. But rather a post that summarizes what I’ve been doing in the last month, both bookish-wise and just normal, personal/academic-wise. Of course, feel free to skip the personal stuff if you’re only here for books. I totally understand. Anyway, I thought this would be helpful for those that missed a post on Xingsings, wanted to learn more about me, or just happened to be fangirling/fanboying over the same things I have been (then we can talk and fangirl/fanboy together!). I think these posts are usually called “Monthly Wrap Ups,” “Month in Review,” “Monthly Favorites,” or sometimes more uniquely “Spotlight Saturdays,” which is a meme hosted by Josie at Josie’s Book Corner, posts.

Anyway, here goes!

January Blog Posts*

*in publication order, not by favoritism

January Events

  • January 1st: Hurrah! This year’s New Year’s Day (how confusing…) was a super bittersweet one for me. I didn’t really do anything other than lounge and read all day, which was a good day. But it was the first year where my close group of friends and I had not texted or talked with each other to countdown the new year. Have you guys ever felt a point in your life where you and your friends are slightly drifting apart? As sad as it sounds, I think I’m feeling that brief phase in my life. I’m still making new friends everyday but with my old besties I think I’m experiencing a weird, natural falling out if that makes sense. Sigh, I’m just hoping it’s just a period where we’ll all just busy (I’m probably overreacting and it probably is, just a time of busyness for us all that is).
  • January 2nd: One year with this blog, which was both exciting and satisfying. When I first started this blog I didn’t even imagine it’d be growing the direction it did. I, one, didn’t expect it to be a primarily book blog because at the time I wasn’t actively reading. (It’s hard to say if I blog because of books or if I read because of this blog.) Two, I certainly didn’t think I’d get to know so many creative people. Three, I honestly didn’t think I’d be blogging for this long. There’s a lot of commitment and time that’s put into this hobby, and I didn’t think I’d have the motivation to continue in the beginning, but I’m glad I did. So cheers for 1 year! And hopefully for many more years of happy reading and blogging.
  • January 14th: The wonderful, talented Alan Rickman passes away. As cliché as this sounds, I discovered this sad news when I was on my Instagram from all the mournful, pithy eulogies from all the bookstagrammers. Alan Rickman was one of my favorite actors not because he played one of my favorite characters from Harry Potter but because of his other phenomenally performed roles (as well), wisdom and insight, and his wonderfully warm and unique voice. He was such a talented man and seemed like a profound individual (I only think this because of what other actors/actresses have said about him in the past). He will be missed. #Always (I did go out to buy a Snape Pop! Funko that day actually.)
  • January 15th: I guess from your perspectives the entire applying to pharmacy school thing as an undergraduate sophomore is a little confusing to understand (I may make a post about it when I start my P1 year). When I made that announcement on Twitter and the Dashing Through the Snow book tag, I was actually only conditionally accepted at the time. Meaning I was chosen to be part of the 2020 Class but I still had a few other things I had to meet before I would really be considered (Fall 2015 semester grades, etc). But January 15th was the day I was officially, officially accepted. Seeing that official acceptance letter has me feeling so thrilled. It’s been my dream to become a pharmacist (the kind with a PharmD) since I was 11 years old. It’s all surreal, scary, and exciting all at the same time!
  • January 22nd: The day I turned 20 years old. It was supposed to be an uneventful and low-key day. I don’t really like publicizing my birthday to people in my real life (I am just super awkward when people wish me a happy birthday; and even more awkward (if possible) when they sing me happy birthday), but strangely I felt really comfortable with doing it on my blog (hence why I mentioned it in my blogiversary post). My birthday had fallen on a Friday this year and I ended going to class, which was normal. But afterwards me and my friends (that I happened to have grown up with but never befriended until much later in my life) decided to eat at a fancy Italian restaurant, which was meh, and going to an even fancier dessert place, which was beyond heaven. Goodbye, sweets ban. I ended up getting a Grasshopper, which is the perfect wintery drink if you love chocolate and mint.

This was me (I’m the one in the middle) with some of my friends when we went to that fancy dessert place. The lighting was really bad because it was really late and dark in there. But we had a great time! The pastries and cakes there are unreal.


I really should save some of my favorites of this month for my January + February book haul. (That’s right, I’m combining two months this time because I’m too ashamed of sharing how much I bought in one month; I’m hoping to divide between the two to make it appear as if the spending was done in a span between 60 days. And honestly some of it hasn’t come through the mail yet.) So I won’t be sharing all of them in this post.


I started watching the first two episodes of Sherlock at the end of 2015, but when the new year started my love for the show escalated. But before, I was actually already a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. #cumbercookie He’s such a charming guy!

I got my first Pop! Funko in December (Eren Jaeger in Attack on Titan) and it since snowballed since then. But I think I'm okay for now. The only one I want left is Baymax.

I got my first Pop! Funko in December (Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan) and it snowballed into a slight obsession since then. But I think I’m okay for now. The only one I want left is Baymax.


Well all thanks to Jenna at Reading with Jenna for introducing me to a new bookish obsession, magnetic bookmarks! I bought a couple of Crafted Van ones a few months ago when I first discovered them on Carolyn’s blog, A Hundred Thousand Stories, but I really love how Happy Hello creates literary characters as well. So adorbs. I can’t get enough. (You’ll see my crazy collection very soon.)

This is so belated but I finally, finally tried Girl Scout cookies for the first time (I bought a batch of each kind they had in the catalog) and they're so good. #goodbyesweetsban

This is so belated but I finally, finally tried Girl Scout cookies for the first time (I bought a batch of each kind they had in the catalog) and they’re so good. #goodbyesweetsban

Favorite tea pick of the month: Irish Breakfast black tea by Twinings

Favorite tea pick of the month: Irish Breakfast black tea by Twinings. I love really dark, strong tea and this one fits the bill.

Absolutely caved and bought the new paperbacks of all Cassandra Clare's books in January. I told myself that was so unreasonable to intentionally buy and own the same book twice... But I love these books so much. AND THE SPINES. JUST LOOK AT THEM. I've set on not watching Shadowhunters though. I don't want to set myself up for disappointment. Plus, I'm kind of picky with shows/movies since I don't have time to watch them; I don't want to waste my time on a bad one.

Absolutely caved and bought the new paperbacks of all Cassandra Clare’s books in January. I told myself that was so unreasonable to intentionally buy and own the same book twice… But I love these books so much. AND THE SPINES. JUST LOOK AT THEM. I’m set on not watching Shadowhunters though. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. Plus, I’m kind of picky with shows/movies since I don’t have time to watch them; I don’t want to waste my time on a bad one.

I definitley don't read fast enough to do this every month... but my favorite read of the month (though I started it in November 2015, lol) was Wolf by Wolf. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE, GUYS.

I definitely don’t read fast enough to do this every month… but my favorite read of the month (though I started it in November 2015, lol) was Wolf by Wolf. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE, GUYS. You can read my review here, if you’d like. (Links to Goodreads are all in that post.)

In my free time, I watch a lot of dance videos ranging from ballet, hip hop, and K-pop. It’s kind of one of my guilty pleasures (though I’m not really guilty about it). I discovered 1 Million Dance Studio after I saw May J Lee’s choreography on MTBT (she’s a choreographer and instructor at that studio in Korea). After her, I discovered Mina Myoung and Eun Ho Kim, both I really respect as choreographers and they just dance so well together. They had a collab a while back but it made me so happy to have this on repeat in January since they’re one of my real life OTPs.

If you’ve followed this blog for some time now, you’re probably familiar or have heard of me rambling about Exo (my favorite K-pop boy band; and the reason behind my blog name, Xingsings). Their company, which I’m NOT a fan of (read about my ramblings about the K-pop industries and unethical company practices here), is debuting a new group this year (I think). And I’m already excited. Lay (Yixing), my favorite Exo member, has already praised an NCT member, Ten. And I have to say I think I’m already partial to him (he’s the third one dancing in this video; the scene with all the shrubbery, lol). Though I heard this is going to be a rotational K-pop group and have like 40 members… LIKE WHAT?! I don’t see how this is going to work… But let’s hope for the best! Other than NCT’s debut I haven’t been keeping up with much K-pop. I’m resigning to the fact that I’m older than most new groups now. LOL. XD

Unhealthy… but sort of practical and easy for a frequent ramen eater like myself. I haven’t tried any of these because, well, when I want ramen I want it to be fast (as in boil water and put everything in). But if you want to go fancy… these are some clever ideas! And I love Sorted Food. I discovered them when I was in high school and love how the channel has grown into something so global. And their series and humor is simply the best. Plus, British accents? Yes, please.

Favorite piano piece of the month. I don’t talk about it a lot on here but I actually grew up taking piano lessons and playing the piano. So new finds (for me) like this one are essential in my life.

I’m not sure why this corny idea came to me the day before I had an Organic II and Microbiology exam, but I wanted to make it before we were sucked any further into the month of February that way it still seemed applicable and appropriate. Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I did making it. I’m sort of hesitant with continuing this just because my life just… isn’t interesting all the time. But hopefully you’ll discover something new (bookish or non-bookish)! Anyhow, hope you all have a lovely day, as always! 😀

33 thoughts on “Summing It Up: January 2016

  1. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    I really like this new type of post, Summer! And I’m not going to get sick of you playing with your blog name, it’s just so awesome haha :p
    I can perfectly understand the feeling of drifting apart from your friends. It’s really hard, and sad. There are times in our lives when that happens, it did for me, too. I probably won’t reassure you by saying, we really did drift apart for some, ahah, but some others are just the REAL friends 🙂 It’s in busy times like that you know your real friends, if you ask me.
    And yay for Funkos !! I actually own the baymax one -not armored-, and it’s a big one ahha, I absolutely LOVE it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I can’t believe it’s taken me a month before I had the time to properly reply (and now it’s time to compose the next Summing It Up post) but thank you so much, Marie! This post was so much fun to create because I think people get to know me more this way. And thanks so much for sharing that with me. I really need to hear that! ❤ And oh my gosh, the pearlescent Baymax is adorable! I really want that very one! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books says:

    I love wrap up posts! Ooo those Funkos are so adorable!! I sooo want them! And yay for the new MI set, it really is beautiful! And I’mso glad you enjoyed your birthday, you look pretty in that picture! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Josephine says:

    I love this post so much! And I am totally digging the name. 😉 WOLF BY WOLF WAS SO FANTASTIC, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it too.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY and congratulations for being accepted into pharmacy school, that’s so awesome! Also, those bookmarks are the absolute cutest. And the paperbacks of Cassandra Clare’s books? SO PRETTY. I NEED THEM TOO.

    And in regards to the fact that you think you’re drifting away from your friends, I’d say, don’t think too hard about it. When I graduated high school last year, I went through the biggest time where I really though my best friends and I were going to stop being best friends. But after a heart to heart talk, all was good in the world again! 😊
    I hope that’s the case for you too!

    Great post, I hope we can see more of this in upcoming months! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Aww, thanks so much for this lovely comment, Josie!! ❤

      Thank you, I really needed to hear that. My friends and I still haven’t had a chance to talk it out but they’ve noticed the awkwardness as well. We’ve all set a date to have a group video chat soon so I hope it’ll be resolved then. ^.^

      And thanks so much! I don’t start pharmacy school until next Fall but I’m still so, so excited! And hehe, this bookmark obsession of mine’s was started by Jenna at Reading with Jenna. I’ve been obsessed with the store ever since I saw her posts on her Bookstagram. XD Ah, YOU MUST treat yourself and get them (the new covers of TMI and TID)! They’re so beautiful in real life. Honestly, I was a little hesitant because they looked like they had mustard yellow font but it’s actually gold, which is much prettier! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Trisha Ann says:

    Summer huuuugs I hope that phase you had with your friends will just be a fleeting one. Been there, done that. My high school friends and I sort of drifted apart when we went to different colleges. But now I’m back on my hometown and we get time to see each other once in a while. In a way, we still know that despite the long months of not getting in touch with each other, our friendship will still be intact. You’re all just busy, maybe. That will pass 🙂

    Also, we will be good Ramen buddies! Did you know authentic ramen bowl in Japan is so huge even the ramen lover in me can’t finish it up. I hope you could try it! 😀

    And that’s a lovely photo of you and your friends! I’m glad you get to spend it with them. Seems like you had a blast in that party 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Aww, thanks so much, Trisha! ❤ Those were just the words I needed to hear. My friends and I still haven’t talked about the awkward air in relationship yet but we did set up a date for a video chat so I hope it gets resolved then. I think it’s the very fact we’re across the country from each other and are busy, too. At least, I hope it’s that!

      Between yours and Aentee’s recap of your Japan trips, I’ve been really wanting to go! Wow, that ramen bowl sounds fantastic! And, we’re totally ramen buddies then. 😉

      And thank you! Yes, I spent it with some of the most kind friends. They took me to so many fun places, haha. XD


  5. Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

    Yay what a detailed summery (HAHAHA I’m so funny) of your month! I love all your bookish goodies and funko pops! And I’m so glad that you managed to get your hands on the TID bookmarks ❤ Not apologising for your newest obsession though 😀 I love the new covers of the Shadowhunter books so much! When I first saw them online, they were just okay-looking but I finally saw them in store yesterday and they’re BEAUTIFUL! Especially the TID ones. I will be buying those ASAP. There are a whole bunch of Aus only giveaways for the entire set of new TMI books, so I’ve entered all the ones I’ve seen. Fingers crossed that I win a set!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I had a feeling at least a few people would include summery. XD And TID bookmarks are so cute. I literally use and take my Jem one everywhere. I don’t want to lose him though! And right! I thought that of the new Cassandra Clare covers, too. Online the font appears as if it’s a unpleasant mustard yellow but in real life it’s actually a pretty gold. Ah, I’ve seen that giveaway make its way around the community. Good luck, Jenna! Even if you don’t manage to win, treat yourself and buy them. They’re glorious!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    Amazing wrap up Summer! I hope you had a wonderful birthday and blogoversary! Lots of wonderful books you picked up too. Yeah, I find in my early 20s was when I started changing friendship groups, you just tend to have so many things happening outside of your friendship life (like work, uni, etc.) that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Hope you have a lovely February, and good luck with uni – I had so much fun there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Jeann! Gosh, I’m so late with replying but I had a wonderful birthday and blogiversary in January, thank you! And thank you for the kind words! I haven’t really had a chance to talk to my friends but we’ve all noticed the strange awkwardness. We’ve set up a video chat though so I hope to resolve everything then. I’m sure it’s just the distance, too. 🙂


  7. Kelly @ Dancing Through the Pages says:

    Totally geeked about those ramen recipes. Seeing as I crave ramen 99% of the time and then don’t actually get any, I should use them as an excuse to… eat more ramen LOL I’m so unhealthy
    Really happy that you mentioned that 1million video because I’ve been soooo behind with keeping up with their content and I absolutely love when they do choreography to August Alsina because it’s always just so freaking amazing.
    I’m curious about SM’s new boyband because I know that in Japan, they have similar things with girl groups that are rotational. But it’s more like a theater where they perform and have differing shifts. I don’t recall the name of the groups but perhaps it’ll be something like that? Maybe it’s their attempt to finally give all their trainees a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      That’s all right. I think all of us students eat pretty unhealthy. And I’m always craving ramen. My favorite is the spicy Shin one, lol. Oh my gosh, 1 Million videos literally give me life everyday. They’re usually the start of my day. And I’m so glad they finally reached 1M subscribers! And oh! I had no idea that was what it meant to be a rotational group. I still feel bad for some of the trainees though because if I was one I’d much rather be in a traditional group. I mean, how certain is it they’ll actually be in the group of the long time? They may not get their deserved chance to shine. ): And to think of all those brutal years for training… I don’t know. :/


      • Kelly @ Dancing Through the Pages says:

        Shin ramen is so great 😀
        The start of my day is… my awful math teacher that makes it her business to make everybody’s lives miserable jkjkjk but in all seriousness I despise her xD
        I mean that’s my guess on what a rotational group is but I feel like SM would do it differently because you know. SM.

        Liked by 1 person

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