Summing It Up: May 2016

summing it up may 2016

Hi, friends! Last month was so, so lovely. My last final exam was the third of May and I got all my results for the semester by the fifth. After that, my summer holiday officially began. And I’ve literally been such a bum cleaning the house, exercising a little more, hanging out with friends I haven’t seen since the last summer, and eating yummy local food all over the state.

But anyway, come along with me to recap my May adventures with and outside Xingsings!

May Blog Posts*

*in publication order, not by favoritism

*I’ve decided to not cross post all of my reviews from my Goodreads anymore. Just because some of them are more school related and/or probably not as relevant to share on here.

May Events

Well the biggest thing was that I finally finished my undergraduate studies! However, it’s sort of complicated, but I have not graduated. I don’t get my bachelor’s degree until my P2 (second year) of pharmacy school and it’ll be a degree in pharmaceutical sciences, which is pretty much useless unless I’m a practicing pharmacist, haha. But I’m not complaining, being in school for six instead of eight years is still a blessing to me (got to save time and money, you know?). But to honor me technically finishing all my undergraduate work I thought I’d add a throwback photo of me in my robe and cap… when I graduated high school in 2014. And I know it’s really Tuesday and not Thursday for a #TBT but, please, just humor me.

It hasn't even been too long ago, but we look like such young nuggets. 😂 But our height hasn't changed much. I'm still the shortest. L to R: me, my BFF, and our friend

It hasn’t even been too long ago, but me and my friends look like such young nuggets. Our height hasn’t changed much; I’m still the shortest. 😂 And I must have been happy because so much gums. >.<
L to R: me, my BFF since we were 9, and our friend

Favorites

I learned about Amazon Smile this month and I highly, highly suggest you all that use Amazon to start using it.

I learned about Amazon Smile this month and I highly, highly suggest you all that use Amazon to start using it if you haven’t already. Basically if you use smile.amazon.com instead of regular Amazon, part of your purchase price goes to a charitable organization of your choice. This explains everything I’m try to say much better. And this is at no cost to you! Also if you use Smile it doesn’t change the usual price of your items!

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I tend to be okay splurging on bookish stuff but I’m not really that way when it comes to jewelry. I like buying cheaper watches since the battery often dies on me and I’m usually too lazy to get it changed. In May, I saw this owl watch at Aéropostale, and I knew I wanted it. (Honestly, I don’t shop there but my local one was closing down and everything was 40% off in store so I thought I’d check it out).

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This may seem absolutely mundane but I love these jars (bathroom ware) I bought (the picture shows the bigger one that I’m currently using to encase my magnetic bookmarks). They’re so much more chic than mason jars, in my opinion. I got them at Target in the section that sells the bathroom sanitary ware.

(Warning! Lots of videos this month!)

WHO ELSE IS EXCITED? Because I am! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney original (my favorite modern one is Tangled, hehe). And I think Emma Watson fits Belle’s role perfectly. She’s so beautiful, smart, and inspiring. Just, gah, she’s totally my woman crush. 😍 And the producers better replicate the library scene or there’s going to be at least one angry fangirl. >.<

I always look forward to 1 Million Dance Studio’s daily uploads, and sadly their Youtube account has been terminated because of third party claims, which really sucks because all their choreos were originals and they had so many views (they were at 2M subscribers, sigh). I guess it can’t be helped when you use music. :/ However, I noticed on Lia Kim’s Instagram that she was a World of Dance judge this year. So here’s the video of her showcased performance. The Queen has slayed once again!

In May I fell in love with The Garden of Words’ OST. The story of the animated film was pretty interesting. It’s about a boy that dreams of becoming a renown shoemaker and on rainy days he skips school to work on his sketches. When he sits under the canopy of a gazebo-like structure, he meets a woman always drinking beer and eating chocolate. And they only meet when it rains. The art was breathtaking (the video has clips of the art from the film), but the soundtrack was what drew me in. This video is of the entire soundtrack but it starts playing at my favorite track, Greenery Rain.

I obviously spend a lot of my time on Youtube, lol. Along with dance and music videos, I love to watch cooking channels. And my favorite, SortedFood, recently uploaded a tea video for their weekly FridgeCam. I really want to try the third floral one!

My favorite baking channel for cupcakes is The Scran Line. The baker, Nick, is always so sweet and he’s really helpful with his tips. He occasional posts some fantastic macaron recipes as well! But anyway, I chose his vegan recipe for Cookies and Cream cupcakes to highlight this month because lately I’ve been craving that flavor. (I bought a box of Cookies and Cream Pocky actually.) XD

The album cover makes me feel awkward to share this with you all… Like what is this pose. 😮 But I’ve been listening to this song a lot!

Those that are familiar with Girls’ Generation or SNSD, you’ll know this singer, Jessica. She went solo from the girl group a few years ago and I believe this is her solo debut. I don’t really care for her other songs but I like this one! And the cute story of the MV (even though I don’t really know what’s going on most of the time).

I discovered DΞΔN sometime last year, but recently my in real life bff learned of him and totally became obsessed. So I revisited this song, which came out earlier this year, and it went back on replay. XD

Since literally everyone was raving about the Korean drama, Descendants of the Sun, I gave it a go and… I didn’t seem to like it. I had a difficult time identifying what the message or overall plot was even after the fifth episode, which is where I decided to put it on hold (I may just drop this one actually). However, I can see why so many viewers loved it. The romance and action was pretty good-after all it is written by Kim Eun Sook, who has written many popular dramas in the past (The Heirs (which I didn’t like) and Secret Garden (which I loved)). But I did like one of the OST tracks! One of the members of Exo, Chen, sings it as part of the duet.

Scheherazade has been the classic piece on repeat for May! I discovered Scheherazade a few years ago but I was listening to this a lot when I was studying for my last final earlier this month. It’s beautiful, haunting, and emotional all at the same time.


So, yup, that was a glimpse of my May! How did you guys spend last month outside of reading and blogging?

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52 thoughts on “Summing It Up: May 2016

  1. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    Ahh you’re on holidays, that’s so awesome, I’m looking forward to my holidays just as well, ahah. There’s something I love about the US, it’s how you guys graduate high school, but really celebrate it, with gowns and everything. I just quit high school after my last exam, called baccalauréat in french, then went back on the day to get my results, and it was done, that was it, ahah. It must be so cool to have a celebration like that 😀
    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST! I am SO excited to see that movie…but I need more of a trailer than that ahah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Yes, I’m so happy to be off for the summer. 🙂 Oh gosh, I didn’t realize graduation with cap and gowns were unique to certain regions/countries! I really wish you could have experienced a similar ceremony, Marie! I guess it’s all really materialistic if you look at (they’re super expensive; and some people even buy class rings), but it is a great experience. :3

      And OH MY GOSH. My precise thoughts! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

        There’s something that always made me so dreamy about this whole ceremony, really, for me, there was nothing, and I guess it made the whole graduating high school thing a little less memorable? It will be the same, I’m (fingers crossed) graduating from university in just a little short of one month, and there will be nothing, while in some countries there’s such a huge celebration. It seems like a cool experience, and a great way to spend time with friends before, well, growing apart a bit 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ravenblake99 says:

    Loved your post! I love watching 1Million Dance Studio videos and it’s pretty sad their account has been terminated. OMG! LIA KIM!!! Her body is so flexibe and I always love the way she dances. I haven’t watched Descendants of the sun yet but I’ve been hearing great things about it maybe I’ll check it out sometime later. Beauty and the Beast is my top favorite fairytale and I can’t wait to watch it’s new movie adaptation. Anyway, congrats on finishing your undergraduate studies. Hope you have a wonderful day! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Well thank goodness that 1 Million has finally returned! I seriously was missing my daily dose of dancing videos. Life just wasn’t the same. T.T And right! Lia Kim is the Queen. She’s also so consistent with making brilliant choreos. Ah yes, I heard Descendants of the Sun is so big that there may be international adaptations int eh future. I guess it’s the next My Love From Another Star. Hopefully you’ll like it better than I did when you do decide to watch it. And thank you so much! Hope you have a lovely day as well. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books says:

    Congratulations on finishing your UG studies! 🙂 I wish our graduation ceremony were held like yours but sadly it isn’t, well… actually nothing happens. It’s so boring! Nonetheless loved your post! And like Marie, I’m pretty excited for the Beauty and the Beast as well! ❤ Wish you a very happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Poulami! 🙂 And, oh gosh, that’s disappointing! It wasn’t until this post did I realize some regions/countries didn’t celebrate graduation as I did, which is a shame. And thanks so much! Hehe, aren’t we all? Happy reading to you as well! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

    Congratulations on completing all your exams! 🙂 that’s definitely cause to celebrate!
    Unfortunately, I didn’t like Descendants of the Sun either, or The Heirs. I stopped watching them haha 😀 it’s nice to see someone else agree!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

        Definitely! I had no idea The Heirs was a melodrama until I started watching it and I absolutely hated it. I didn’t finish watching Descendants of the Sun (I’ve heard there’s a character with my name too?) because it was so BORING. It had a lot of potential, definitely – but I felt nothing. Do you have any favourites?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          Oh gosh, really? That’s cool! I didn’t get very far with Descendants of the Sun so I’m not sure. >.< But AGREED. I wasn’t really captivated with the characters or invested with the storyline. As for my favorites, I tend to be the more into historical ones. I love Legend of the Condor Heroes (Chinese), The Vigilantes in Masks (Chin), Scarlet Heart (Chin), Perfect Couple (Chin), Dong Yi (Korean), Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Kor), Rooftop Prince (Kor), the first like 25 episodes of Empress Ki (Kor) because it goes downhill after that, It’s Okay, That’s Love (Kor), and Hana Kimi (Japanese). What are some of yours? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

            Ohh, that’s interesting. 🙂 I haven’t watched any of the ones you’ve listed (except Rooftop Prince and Hana Kimi: which is GREAT. We need more of that!!) but for historical Kdramas I’d recommend The Moon Embracing the Sun. It’s definitely one of the best I’ve watched. There’s actually a Korean (and Taiwanese) version of Hana Kimi – but the Japanese one is definitely the best. For Kdramas, I’d say my favourites are I Remember You, Secret Garden, I Hear your Voice and Pinocchio (definitely The Moon Embracing the Sun too!), for Jdramas … Hana Kimi, Date (that’s a shortened version of the title) and Gokusen.

            I must ask though, have you watched the anime Code Geass? That’s a great one!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Summer @ Xingsings says:

              OMG. ARE WE DRAMA SOULFRIENDS (that sounded weird-I was thinking of platonic soulmates, haha)?

              I loved The Moon Embracing the Sun! And I actually have seen all the versions of Hana Kimi as well. ^.^ The Taiwanese version was hilarious! The Korean was more lackluster compared to the three because I didn’t feel the chemistry between the main couple. However, the production was very well done like most Korean dramas, but that’s probably because it had a greater budget and was released years after the other two. But I also love the Japanese one the most! There are cliche moments but the story is so endearing. And it’s likely to be the most similar to the manga-not sure since I haven’t read it.

              I love Secret Garden! I actually totally forgot to include that one, but it’s one of my favorites. And I don’t tend to like older woman and younger men relationships when it comes to entertainment (books, movie, anime, etc) for some odd reason. However, I liked I Hear Your Voice immensely as well.

              WHAT? You watch some anime, too? I actually haven’t seen Code Geass though I know it’s one the popular ones. Shoujo is actually more of what I watch, but I’ll give CG a try if it’s that great!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

                Haha this is so cool! How is it possible you’ve watched (nearly) all of my favourites! Drama soulfriends is totally a thing. I’m always trying to get friends to watch Hana Kimi, but most of them only like Kdramas. For some reason, I really didn’t like the Taiwanese version at all, so I didn’t finish it. The Korean version, like you said, had a greater budget, but it was so DAMN SERIOUS. It didn’t have the humour that I liked in the Japanese version, and it sort of dragged on towards to end (which, arguably, a lot of Kdramas do). I Hear your Voice is actually perfect! Glad we agree there. Have you watched You’re Beautiful? A few years ago, the Japanese version came out. 😀

                And yes! I watch loads of anime too. Code Geass is actually amazing, but I’d understand if you stick more to shoujo. My favourite animes include Kimi ni Todoke and Akatsuki no Yona. I also think the manga for Ao Haru Ride is quite adorable, but I’ve not watched the anime. I’m not much of a shojo fan anymore though haha.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Summer @ Xingsings says:

                  I’m the same way. Most of my friends write off Japanese dramas right away because they tend to be “too sad” or “badly produced.” I can see what they mean for some of them, but Hana Kimi is such a classic romance drama. One of the best dramas set in high school, in my opinion. And don’t worry, I totally get what you mean about the Taiwanese version. I watched that when I was like in middle school and was really young-I haven’t rewatched it since but I bet it’d be cringeworthy. And I have seen You’re Beautiful! But I had no idea that the Japanese one was released! I’ll look for it later today. ^.^

                  Hehe, I may try it! Sometimes I like the occasional non-shoujo like Claymore, Attack on Titan, Phantom, etc. 😛 I thought Kimi ni Todoke was cute but not really memorable. And I adored Akatsuki no Yona. It’s funny you mentioned it because I actually included a track from its OST in my latest scheduled book review that should post someday soon. XD

                  And I’m currently really obsessed with the Ao Haru Ride manga. It’s really bland when I think about it but I love it because the characters are so charming. And I like how Kou actually looks like he’s Japanese with his dark hair and almond shaped eyes.

                  Haha, I actually only just got back into anime these past few months. I didn’t watch any for the past few years. But, do you have a Myanimelist? Because we should totally be friends on there!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

                    My friends think the same too. I guess I can understand why Kdramas are more popular: a lot of them are more aesthetically pleasing and make you want to watch them, but I feel like story-wise, Jdramas can be a lot better. I really recommend giving Date a watch. It’s brilliant!

                    I haven’t watched Claymore and Attack on Titan (gasp), or Phantom. I’m so glad you’ve watched Akatsuki no Yona! I’ve been reading the manga too (it’s ongoing), and it gets better. I also heard there’s a second season coming out. I loved the OST too – I listened to that on repeat for months. Also: have you watched Ouran High School Host Club? That’s pretty adorable too.

                    I try read Shoujo whenever I want a really lighthearted anime/manga, and Ao Haru Ride (although it’s definitely bland) is so cute. I don’t watch anime all the time, actually. Same as you, I just got back to it, and the last one I really liked was Akatsuki no Yona, and Gintama (an adult comedy).

                    What’s your Animelist name? I haven’t made one yet, but I’ll do so now! 😀

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

                      Omg, you NEED to watch Attack on Titan, and if you like that give Claymore a try as well! Phantom was more okay than awesome now that I think about it; so you can definitely take your time on that one. And omg, I actually noticed that Akatsuki no Yona was going to be FINALLY serialized in English! I’ve already preordered the first copy but I may begin reading the scans online. 🙂 Haha, I totally have seen Ouran High School Host Club! That was actually one of the first anime I watched. You’re so right, it is way adorable. ^.^
                      And so sorry this reply was so late, I’ve been so absent around the blogosphere as of late… but my MAL username is Xingsings! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

                      Haha I’ll definitely watch it soon!
                      Omg yes! Read the scans for Akatsuki no Yona soon too! I started reading it where the anime stops, and it gets GOOD! I might have to reread it 🙂

                      I’ve read the manga of most animes I watch. Ouran included 🙂
                      That’s completely okay! I’ve just added you – and I see that we have a really similar taste in anime/manga. You’ve watched/read practically everything I have. How great is that!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

                      OTL Again, I’m sorry I always reply so late! Totally! I’ll begin reading Akatsuki no Yona before the summer ends, hopefully. Lately, I’ve been still trying to finish reading Ao Haru Ride. :3 And hehe, let me know what you think of Attack on Titan once you do start it. ^.^

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

                      Haha me too! Haven’t been on at all. I definitely will! I’m still waiting for the new chapters of Akatsuki no Yona. It’s getting SO GOOD. So much is happening. Can’t wait for season 2. I’m also on myanimelist a lot more now 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Carolyn says:

    Internally tries really hard to refrain from talking about Descendants of the Sun
    deep breath
    Congratulations on finishing your undergraduate studies, Summer! =) And I know exactly what you mean about saving money on schooling. It’s part of the reason why I didn’t want to pursue medicine anymore..
    And is it weird to say I’m like 50 percent excited for Beauty and the Beast because I want to see Beast’s castle? Judging from the teaser it looks like it’s gonna be gorgeous. I’m such a sucker for interior design.
    And omg I love sortedfood too! :DD They’re all so hilarious. I think I like Ben and Jamie the most haha! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I know! Maybe we don’t have quite the same taste for K-dramas, lol. >.< And thanks so much, Carolyn! ^.^ Why does pursuing academics have to be so expensive? -___- And omg, no. That is not weird at all. I have to confess most of my excitement is to see how they decide to recreate the castle. I am so looking forward to the library scene. T.T AND YYYAYYY, I love SortedFood because of the accents, to be honest… But they also make some mean recipes. Hehe, Ben is my favorite since he’s so oblivious to his natural innuendos. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Zoe says:

    Congratulations on finishing your undergraduate studies Summer! That’s amazing! ❤ And OMG I must have been living under a rock because I did NOT know that there was a Beauty & the Beast movie coming out? And Emma Watson’s playing Belle?!? Okay, now I’m extremely excited. xD Thanks for sharing Summer and, as always, fabulous recap! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Aww, thank you so much, Zoe! ❤ And no way! Hehe yup, there’s going to be a major motion picture of Beauty and the Beast finally. I think after the successful Disney animation a lot of producers/directors were wary of recreating such a beloved story but I’m also glad it’s finally in the works after much talk. And yes, Emma Watson! ❤

      Like

  7. Cherry says:

    Ahhh congrats on finishing your undergraduate studies Summer!! ❤ And omg 1M got terminated? Man I loved watching their covers! they were flawless 😥 also I can’t wait for Beauty & the Beast omggg, Emma Watsonnnn ❤ and oo! You watch Sortedfood! Everything they make looks so good & always makes me hungry haha xD Last month was cherry picking, cutting off 5 inches of hair and drinking lots of boba hahaha, not very eventful lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks so much, Cherry! ❤ And I know right, it was sad they were terminated for like almost a month; I’m so relieved they’re back though. I really missed my daily dose of dance videos. AND I KNOW. SO EXCITED. Haha, I spend a lot of my time on Youtube it seems. Strangely I’m not into booktube though. It may be because books and blogging dominate my life too much already. 😂 And omg, that sounds like an awesome May! I’m about to cut my hair soon. It’s way too long and takes forever to dry. >.<

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on completing your undergraduate studies! Saving time and money is SO important in college (starts crying when thinking about her own college debt), so that’s really cool. Also, I am INSANELY envious of your collection of magnetic bookmarks. I have like 5 or 6 that are all tiny illustrations of tea and coffee, and I really want ones of fictional characters! Where do you get yours from? I know craftedvan stopped carrying fandom ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      THANK YOU, Aimal! The money that we invest in our educations is like no joke. T_T And hehe, thank you! I feel like I spend all of my monthly extra money on bargained books and bookmarks… (I blame other bloggers for my new obsession of these magnetic bookmarks!) And aww, the foodie bookmarks are so adorbs! And I get all of my fictional character ones from the lovely Vivi at Happy Hello Art on Etsy! Often times her sets are somewhat cheaper than CraftedVan. The shipping to America doesn’t take as long even though she’s based in Canada as well. Hope you decide to buy some! 😀

      Like

  9. Lois says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on completing your undergraduate studies. That is such a wonderful milestone to reach so you should definitely be proud of yourself. 😀
    Now let’s talk about those bookmarks because you put me to shame with that collection haha. I also love using jars. Whether or not it’s to hold the little things scattered around my room or for my mam to use to pour her homemade jams in, jars are simply a wonderful invention. 😛
    I am so, so, so excited for Beauty and the Beast. The casting for the film was on point and it looks just as magical as the animated film.
    Not to brag but I do make one hell of a good cup of tea so if you ever find yourself in Wales/UK be sure to pop over and I’ll make you a mug. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, Lois!

      And omg, my bookmark collection has gone out of control. I think almost all my bookstragram photos have these bookmarks. I feel as if I’m a rep for the company of something (when really I’m just a frequent client-I need to stop checking the Etsy shop when I’m bored). And omo, homemade jams!! I’m so envious!! T.T And using jars are such a chic and inexpensive way (well at least over here).

      RIght! I cannot wait! There have been talk about a major motion picture of B&tB forever. I’m so glad the rumors are finally true.

      AND I WOULD TOTALLY LOVE THAT (visiting you overseas and drinking your awesome tea)! T.T But, for real, I’ll definitely let you know if I’m ever around your area! And I can’t impress you with my tea brewing skills… but if you’re ever around here (but I live literally nowhere-South Carolina) you’re free to come over, too! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lois says:

        This is why I try to avoid etsy and society6 as much as I can cause I know my self-control would not survive the sites.
        It’s common knowledge in our village that my mam always makes homemade jam so people save their empty jam jars for us so we don’t even have to buy them anymore haha/

        There are so many Disney live action films being optioned for film now. Next to B&tB, Mulan is the one I’m most anticipating, especially if they get the casting right.

        With my wanderlust going while there is definitely a chance I could crash into your neighbourhood and then we can basically indulge in all things sweet and bookish. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          …I have the Etsy app on my phone; that was a bad idea.

          Aww, your mom sounds so cool! Me and my dad rarely cook since we’re normally not home as most people, so we’re definitely known in the community to NOT cook, bake, or make anything edible, haha. 😂 And OMG, I had no idea there was talk of Mulan becoming a live action film. That’s so exciting; it’s one of my favorite movies as well. I hope they actually choose someone Asian (and, even better, Chinese) for Mulan.
          YAYYY. (Though I have no idea what we’d do in SC we’re not far from mountains, beaches, Atlanta, and Charlotte.) 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lois says:

            You do realise I’m going to be using my baking skills as a means of getting you to Wales from now on haha.
            If they white-wash Mulan I will not be impressed at all. Apparently they’ve given the green light for other live action disney films as well but I can’t remember which ones they were haha.

            Liked by 1 person

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