Summing It Up: November 2016

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Hi friends! Yet another month has passed and it looks like we’re nearing the end of 2016. Gosh, where did this year go?

A few of the things I compounded in lab this semester. >.<

Overall, I’d say November was a pretty chill month since I had only three exams total. Compounding lab also reached an end. (Goodbye, long Tuesdays!) And the semester is fast approaching its final stretch. (Woot! Woot!) With that being said, I know I won’t be scheduling/posting anything on here (or my other social media accounts) after this post goes live. Finals will certainly be tough and I’m really going to have to study hard. I’ll also be occupied with submitting end-of-term assignments/papers (not really a big deal) and placing my preferences for summer rotations (kind of a huge deal) very soon.

Looks like a hectic schedule ahead. But look at all that washi tape representing winter break! :D

Looks like a hectic schedule ahead. But look at all that washi tape representing winter break. Ah, I seriously cannot wait! 😀

Sigh. The beginning half of December is going to look mighty busy and stressful, not going to lie. However, I’m looking forward to it! Because on the flip-side, winter break begins the second I’m finished taking the last exam. (Well, really, the moment when I know my grades. I don’t think I’ll rest at ease until then, haha.) Then I’ll get to enjoy my holiday! And finally be able to catch up on the comments and visit all the blogs I’ve missed in the last few months. (I already have a number of them bookmarked. This big blog hopping spree can’t come soon enough. I’ve missed interacting and chatting with everyone and meeting new bloggers, omg.) In addition, I look forward to indulging in all the things I love aside from blogging (e.g. Exo, frappuccinos, and Asian dramas).

November Blog Posts*

*in publication order

November Events

I could talk about the election, but I’d rather not. Here’s a small glimpse about how I feel though, if you are curious:


In November I attended Yallfest. (Feel free to check out my entire event recap if you’d like!) I simply loved meeting the authors, getting my books signed, and meeting other avid readers in the lines so much. I had a lot of fun that day.

The ultimate highlights from the signings were definitely getting to meet two of my favorite authors. If you’ve followed Xingsings long enough you know that Sarah Dessen is my favorite YA contemporary author. And Victoria Schwab has been a recent favorite ever since I finished A Gathering of Shadows last year. Guys, I even got to gush over K-pop with her. Seriously, I couldn’t believe it. Everyone that was waiting behind me in the line were probably completely loss with our animated conversation, haha.

If only everyday could be Yallfest. Happy sigh.

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I didn’t really do much for the rest of the month since I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving. Those of you that know me well or have followed my more personal posts know it’s just me and my dad, so we don’t do big, fancy things for most holidays anyway. However, that day was a nice day, full of relaxing. I hope you guys that did enjoy a Thanksgiving feast or got together with family/friends had a nice time!

I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping because, honestly, it’s not really for me. I tend to buy things mostly online and I Christmas shop year round to avoid feeling stressed near the holiday anyway. However, my dad did decide to make a huge splurge on a new smart, 3D television (prior to Black Friday though since we predicted the one we want wouldn’t go more on sale-and it happened to not). I was totally against the purchase because it seemed too expensive, but you know what? He’s always worked hard so he should get what he wants. I admit that despite my opposition towards buying it, I’ve been really enjoying it since this is the first smart TV we have had for the house. (I can finally watch dramas and anime on the big screen now, which is really nice!) We’ve gotten one for the salon for some time now but you can imagine I don’t use it much. >.<

Favorites

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This is kind of crazy… but I got another new bookshelf for my room! Now, I have a total of three in that room alone (four if you count the one in my actual bedroom which is adjacent to this reading/studying nook). The lighting wasn’t the best because I took this photo as soon as me and my dad finished assembling it, but I do like how everything turned out anyhow. (Oh and the truly scary part of this is that the second shelf with all the Cassandra Clare books… isn’t even my entire collection. I admit it. I am a crazed fangirl alright.)

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Haha, another view of where my new bookshelf is situated in the room. This was from one of my late night Instagram story updates. You can see that I actually placed my beloved Exo poster on the very top shelf. XD Speaking of Instagram story… Many of you probably noticed that I’ve been enjoying using it a lot more than I thought I would. (My in real life friends have joked that I’ll use Instagram story for internet strangers but never update my snap story on my personal Snapchat. Bahaha.)

It should probably make me feel embarrassed that some of you guys have called me a frappe queen... but haha, no shame. The title is quite appropriate given my addiction. It's no surprise that my ALL TIME FAVORITE frappuccino is the Peppermint Bark one at Joe Muggs inside Books a Million. I swear that stuff is so divine like ambrosa and nectar the demigods from Percy Jackson would take.

It should probably make me feel embarrassed that some of you guys have called me a frappe queen… but haha, I feel no shame. The title is quite appropriate given my addiction. It’s no surprise that my ALL TIME FAVORITE is the Peppermint Bark frappuccino one at Joe Muggs inside Books a Million. I get it every year in the winter because it’s so good. I swear that stuff is so divine. I imagine it’s like the ambrosia and nectar that’s often described in Percy Jackson and the Olympian series.

I’ve been on the hunt for some durable, comfortable, and chic flats (I know I was asking for a lot) to wear with skirts/dresses for school/work. And I finally found these AGL “Cap Toe Ballerina” flats. I got them in a 36.5, which is a 6.5 in US sizing, and I’m usually a size 7 or 7.5 for most shoes. They are roomy but still snug. The leather is soft as butter and the tip isn’t pointed, which makes them super comfortable. If you don’t mind the splurge and need nice flats I highly, highly recommend these over ones made by brands like Tory Burch. (I tried flats from the latter and they felt so painful and weren’t even that flattering on me.) Haha, sorry for the mini rant/review. It’s because I feel like these are such a rare find that I wanted to share it with you guys in case you’re having just as hard of time finding comfortable flats as I did.


Video Favorites

Many of you guys know that I started to get really into One Ok Rock earlier this year, and one of their songs that I can’t stop listening to this past month has been Taking Off, their newest release. I actually prefer this over the actual music video that was posted by Fuel By Ramen. The latter just had a random couple that did a lot of making out, so it didn’t really pass as being a story. I much rather prefer seeing the band play, honestly.

Edit 5/12/17: The original video I posted was taken down. This was the only replacement video I could find on Youtube. The pianist does an amazing job covering the song though.

This month I’ve been equally obsessed with Yuuri on Ice because there’s been massive character development within the cast these past few episodes. I love this song so much. Yuri danced so gracefully to it despite the mistakes he made for his long program. This song also holds extra meaning since it was created by his friend to reflect his skating career. :’)

A Lia Kim x Koosung Jung collaboration at 1 Million Dance Studio? YESSSS. 😀 Also, it’s amazing that they actually coordinate their outfits for these videos, haha. >.<

I’ve been so obsessed with Princess Weiyoung (more on this later in the post) and the opening song sung by A-Lin is so sweet and sad at the same time. T_T

Another slower track I’ve been listening to has been Taeyeon’s newest song, 11:11. I much prefer this acoustic version than the actual MV or original song because there’s a greater focus on Taeyeon’s beautiful vocals.

“Kris is not my style.” Haha, only Exo fans will understand this joke. But in all seriousness, I haven’t kept up with any of the ex-Exo members. I recently stumbled upon Kris’ mannequin challenge video though and this song of his was in the background. It’s been on repeat ever since.

Koosung Jung is such an underrated choreographer at 1 Million! I like a lot of his choreos including RICO, Wrist, and I Fancy You. I’m not sure how I missed his choreo for the remix version of 679, but I’ve been watching it so much in November. >.< It’s so cool that he invited his two best friends (the last two that were b-boying) join his class the day of the filming.

What I’ve Been Watching

If Cats Disappeared from the World - 7.5/10 [Completed]

If Cats Disappeared from the World8.5/10 [Completed]

“If I disappear from this world, who on earth would be sad for me?”

Don’t let this movie poster fool you, this isn’t a lovely romance between a man and woman as the photo suggests but rather a desperate man’s plea to live and find the answer to whether he as everything else that has an expiration date in the world is replaceable. If Cats Disappeared from the World certainly took me along an emotional ride. I was looking forward to this ever since I had a Takeru Satoh marathon (where I watched nearly all his movies) earlier this year. Again, he succeeds in showcasing his phenomenal acting and versatility. The film itself was drenched in melancholy and bittersweet feels; I cried heaps. But it left me thoughtful and grateful for the people in my life, which was perfect for Thanksgiving. Also initially I thought this was a straightforward and quite  simplistic storyline. However, with further reflection there’s a lot of hidden creative symbolism. I love that most of the scenes where the actor(esse)s are crying there is water in the background (for example the waterfall, heavy rain, and ocean). I’m also curious if other viewers noticed the other stylisic cinematography that I did. And the fact that the entire cast remained nameless throughout the movie (well aside from the bff (that the main lead continuously butchers the name of) and two cats, lettuce and cabbage) was perfect. Anyway, this one goes highly recommended from me!

Trailer:

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Legend of the Blue Sea, The?/10 [Dropped]

This one just began airing. I’m watching it with Carolyn at A Hundred Thousand Stories, and we’ve both agreed (that from what we’ve watched, 2 episodes,) it’s lacking so far with the storytelling and plot. But I’m going to continue watching (for now) because Lee Min Ho is in it. Also, Jun Ji Hyun is showing her veteran acting skills once again. I do hope that the focus of the story begins to pan in soon though. I ended up dropping this one because it paled in comparison with everything else I had watched and were watching in November. I tried catching up with episodes 3 and 4, but they just weren’t holding my interest and I ended up skimming through them (red flag for Summer being bored when watching a drama). I knew this story was going to be a romance driven by fate, but I didn’t feel compelled to continue with seeing where the main characters’ relationship would go. Their encounters were always a bit too coincidental and unbelievable. (I mean, she was lost at sea but then found him again in an aquarium… Maybe I skipped around too much in the episode to understand the full mechanics of how that worked out, but still.) Though arguably everything is ridiculous in drama-land, but as a viewer I need to be entertained if not convinced. And with these later episodes, entertained, I no longer was. Hence why I chose to drop this for now.

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My Sunshine6.5/10 [Skim Completed]

The title sounded uber cheesy so I went into this one knowing little as possible with low expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Also to my surprise this is another Gu Man adaptation. Gu Man also wrote Boss and Me, which I sort of hated, and Just One Smile is Very Alluring, which I greatly enjoyed. Anyway, what I liked the most with My Sunshine was how the flashbacks were incorporated into the storyline without be redundant. I usually have a hard time connecting or liking them when they’re used in dramas. But for this one, I honestly felt a greater connection and more chemistry between the younger cast than I did with Tang Yan and Wallace Chung at times. However, despite my overall enjoyment, as superficial as it sounds, I didn’t really like how the female lead looked. Tang Yan is so gorgeous (I mean look at her with Wallace in the movie poster above), but in the majority of the movie she has a short haircut that didn’t flatter her as nicely. Also, there were many parts of this that moved at a tortoise’s pace, sadly.

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Natsume’s Book of Friends8.5/10 [Completed]

I’ve wanted to see this one ever since I saw Hotarubi no Mori e, which I love immensely and highly recommend.  Anyway, I completed Natsume’s Book of Friends in a couple of days. This anime is so heartwarming and gentle, but still never fails to pack a punch of feels every episode. I kid you not I had tears rolling down my cheeks by the end of most episodes because I was that moved and touched by the messages this anime shared. Unexpectedly, this was an absolute gem.

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Princess Weiyoung?/10 [Currently Watching]

Ever since rumors that this was in production, Princess Weiyoung  has been my most highly anticipated drama of the year mainly because I love period/historical dramas. (I grew up watching dramas like Journey to the West and Princess Pearl so this is not unexpected.) Also, Luo Jin and Tang Yan?? This is their fourth production together and their chemistry is perfect… so, of course, I’m happy to see them reunited once again on screen. For the drama itself, I am so, so addicted already! (I foresee myself making a full review once it finishes airing because it’s that good.) It’s another plot fueled by revenge where the romance takes the backseat the majority of the time. I’m extremely pleased that the fight between the next crown prince isn’t as prominent and that it’s not about Weiyoung seeking royal status (since she’s technically the late northern princess anyway). Speaking of Weiyoung, she’s the greatest heroine I’ve encountered in a historical/wuxia/period Asian drama, which is saying a lot since I’ve seen almost all of them (no joke). Her actions are valid and her character has yet to annoy me. She’s such an empowering, benevolent, dignified, articulate, and incredibly strong (physically and intellectually) female figure. Her character is more realistic than other heroines. I love her cunning plans and she’s an extreme advocate for justice. #totallymywomancrush

Whatever your identity or status, you are just you. You are the Li Weiyoung I think of all the time.

I also adore all the potential suitors for her, but of course Tuoba Jun being ranked as my favorite. I’m so rooting for him because he accepts Weiyoung for who she is regardless of her identity as Weiyoung or as the northern princess. Ugh, everything he says just makes me melt. Also, this series is being aired twice daily (Saturdays with only one episode) so this is going to kill me, I know. (I will probably put everything else I’m watching on hold because I can’t see everything I want to with exams coming up and all. Got to prioritize.) Also, just an afterthought, but I praise all that was involved in giving Tang Yan beautiful hair this time. I hated her hairstyle in My SunshinePerfect Couple, and Chinese Paladin 3. Even though she’s in a princess updo, I’m so glad it’s long and pretty this time.

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I am so pleased with where Princess Weiyoung is heading. This may be the best drama I’ve watched all year. (There are more than 25 episodes left. Please don’t disappoint me.)

Trailer:
(Try telling me the outfits aren’t majestic and grand. Just, gah, everything is so pleasing to the eye. I love it so much!)

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Your Name8.5/10 [Completed]

Man, the praise this one has received thus far this year is so well deserved. Your Name kind of takes star crossed lovers to an entirely new level. I think this animation is best watched when the viewers go into it knowing as little as possible so I won’t delve too much. I really loved the storyline even if it may have been abstract and obscure until about the halfway mark. I was hoping for a tragic ending even though that sounds morbid, however the conclusion viewers get is pretty impactful. Also it’s been no surprise that even prior to watching, I’ve been obsessed with the soundtrack. Oh and, LOL, guys, I made my dad watch this with me. We were making theories the entire way through the movie. And he totally felt the feels as much as I did. XD

Trailer:

Yuri on Ice - ?/10 [Currently Watching]

Yuuri on Ice?/10 [Currently Watching]

As many know, I’m still watching and loving this one. Guys, the Yuuri x Victor ship has gone canon (the link is an episode 7 spoiler).#victuuri :DDD

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Gif credits to Wakata


And we’ve reached the end of this post! As always, thanks so much for tuning in. And I wish all the other students struggling with final exams the best of luck. Study hard!

Have a lovely December, everyone!

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32 thoughts on “Summing It Up: November 2016

  1. Liam @ Hey Ashers! says:

    This post gives me ALL THE JOY. And not just because your home is lovely and your EXO poster is the best. =D

    Congrats on such a great month, and here’s hoping December is somehow even better!

    I’m still trying to figure out what magic you use to take such gorgeous pictures, by the way. I love them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cw @ readthinkponder says:

    Beginning this comment with a hug I miss you girl!
    It DOES feel like the year has rushed by… I remember when you told me that you got into pharmacy school. EEP I’m still so proud of you! One year down, and however many so to go, but I know you’re going to do great and amazing and wonderful.

    Omg I’m so glad someone understands how much I love frappes! When I was in uni, I had one almost EVERY day. It was soooo bad for my wallet though, haha, so I’ve been good and have tried to tone it down a little.

    I want to see Your Name! I was going to see it in the cinemas here – they had a one day showing – but I opted out. Now I wish I went. 😐 Ah well, I’m still going to see it… eventually!

    I understand what you mean by not being able to relax until marks come out. hugs All the best, girl! I know you would’ve done amazing. You work hard. 🙂

    I’m sending all my best wishes to you. I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing winter break. You earned it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      /hugs you back/ Omg, I’ve missed you so much as well, Chooi!
      2016 definitely flew by mighty fast. And aww, omg, thank you so much. You’re really too much. And I’m also extremely proud OF YOU. :’) I’ve always had complete faith that you’d one day walk the postgraduate academic path you desired. You’re so intelligent and I’m sure that program is super happy to have accepted you.

      Hehe, well frappes are bad for my wallet and also my cheeks (too much dairy makes me temporarily bloated) but that’s never stopped me. XD

      Aww, man. You NEED to see Your Name! It’s really heartwarming. Though, I have heard it’s very similar to 5 Centimeters Per Second from what other viewers mentioned, but I hadn’t see the later and enjoyed Your Name quite a lot. ^.^

      And thank you so much, Chooi! Thanks for always making me smile with your comments. I really appreciate them and you. Happy holidays to you as well! ❤

      Like

      • cw @ readthinkponder says:

        SUMMER!
        Aw, gosh, thank you. I really, super duper appreciate that, especially from you, because you’ve known me since I graduated… so thank you so much. I mean this truly: your world means the absolute world to me, and they’ll carry me through 2017.

        I WATCHED IT. TWICE. I cried soooo much the first time and cried even more the second time! I loved it so much. ;_; Thank you thank you for recommending it to me. It’s honestly one of my favourite movies of this year. ❤

        Hehe, happy holidays to you too!! I hope you’re having a nice, relaxing, and fun break. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          OMG, YES. I am so glad you loved Your Name that much. I also had tears streaming down my face when I watched it. Even my dad really enjoyed it, which says a lot since he normally doesn’t care for animations.

          Thank you so much, Chooi! I will certainly have a restful break. 🙂

          Like

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Haha, Black Friday is utter mayhem. Also, our family salon is situated in the middle of a outdoor mall so it gets pretty crazy. XD And my dad LOVES his smart TV. He’s totally glued to all the time. And thank you so much, Jeann! ❤

      Like

  3. Thomas says:

    Ah, so glad to hear that you had such a full and meaningful November, Summer! I love the aesthetic appeal of how you organize your study space. I feel like I always say this when I comment on one of your posts, but your ability to pull of stunning images within what you publish on your blog is A+. It sounds like you’ve been able to get some quality blogging in while also recognizing when you need time to focus on your schoolwork. Hope your holiday season has been fabulous and that you’ve been able to read some good books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Hi Thomas! It’s so nice to hear from you. I have been pretty busy with school but I’ve somehow managed to squeeze in a few posts every month. And thanks so, so much! Hearing your praise makes me smile every time. ^.^

      Like

  4. The Bookworm Girls 123 says:

    I hope you did well on your exams! 🙂 The only book I’ve read by Victoria Schwab is A Darker Shade of Magic, and I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to read AGOS and all of her other books! I haven’t read anything by Sarah Dessen but I KEEP MEANING TO and I currently own two of her books, so I really need to get to that!
    I love all of your reviews for the drama shows you watch; they look super interesting! 🙂
    -Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks for the kind thoughts, Amy! I did, in fact, do okay on my finals. Oh my goodness, well you MUST read A Gathering of Shadows soon. The latter is even better than its predecessor, I assure you. Also, you must fix that (the fact that you haven’t read any Dessen that is). Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby are my absolute favorites, and I highly recommend starting with those first. Thank you, that means so much to me. :’) I know I’m primarily a book blog but I love sharing other parts of my life as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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