summing-it-up_-december-2016

Summing It Up: December 2016

summing-it-up_-december-2016

Happy 2017, friends! 🎉 It seems that I’ve decided to start the year strong with three scheduled blog posts in a row, haha. Make sure to check out my 2017 Resolutions and Blogiversary post if you haven’t already and would like to.

So, the beginning of December was slightly stressful because final exams had me like:

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But I managed to survive. I did end up getting a couple of B’s/B+’s in 4 of the 9 courses I took, which is disappointing to a degree because it’s worse than how I normally do in school. But you know what? I’m totally happy with the results, because my GPA didn’t suffer too much and I have no plans on pursuing further education after I graduate pharmacy school. Plus, one of the B’s resulted from a ridiculous curve in pathophysiology (and pharmacology; it’s a combined course), so I should be very thankful. 🙏🏼

As for the second half of the month, it was quite restful and relaxing. I did stay busy with working at the family salon and running errands that I’d put off for the entire year in my free time but I also indulged in countless of frappucinos when I was out, finished an awesome drama called Nirvana in Fire (if you haven’t already read about how it gave me all the feels, click here), and spent time with my good friends and father.

And I’m still on winter break, which means I have some time to finish catching up with book reviews and blog hopping before I return to school. The spring semester begins less than a week on the 9th, however, and then I’ll be in hibernation again.

So that was my month in a nutshell. Now let’s get on with recapping the other parts of my December (plus pictures), shall we? 😉

December Blog Posts*

*in publication order

What a sad, sad month in the book blogging department. This is the first month since I’ve started to blog where I didn’t post a single review on here (or on my Goodreads). I’m in the process of drafting six but I haven’t had the will to finish them. Sigh. I’ll be better, I promise.

December Events

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! Me and my dad drove to Charlotte to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant and shop at the Asian market there for Viet groceries. This is our holiday tradition (or sometimes we got down to Atlanta) since we don’t exactly celebrate Christmas because we’re Buddhists.


Favorites

I was really spoiled and received nice gifts from my friends, most of them were books (or gift cards to buy books) and food, which are my two favorite things in the world. I’m not going to share the books because I’ll include those in a future book haul post, but here are a few of my favorites from the presents I got.

It's no secret that I'm a massive fan of the popular Korean pop boy band, Exo. For Christmas, I bought Yixing's (my favorite member of Exo) first solo album called Lose Control. I was gifted the Exo pillow and bag by one of my equally crazed K-pop fan of a friend.

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of the popular Korean pop boy band, Exo. For Christmas, I bought Yixing’s (my favorite member of Exo) first solo album called Lose Control for myself. (I actually preordered this in October but it arrived only early this December. International shipping, why must you take so long??) And I was gifted the Exo pillow and bag by one of my equally crazed K-pop fan of a friend, Amy. She’s the buddy that tagged along with me at Yallfest last month.

For some reason, as I've gotten older I only like chocolate when it's coupled with mint. As you guys know, I love my peppermint bark frappes so receiving these mint chocolate cookies was a real treat!

For some reason, as I’ve grown older I only like chocolate when it’s coupled with mint. And, as you guys know, I love my peppermint bark frappes so receiving these mint chocolate cookies was a real treat! The long time, regular client and friend that gifted this to me and my dad was sweet to spoil us so.

Processed with MaxCurve

In a lot of the my photos, I have my hair down but it’s only been in recent years that I’ve done this. I used to habitually have my hair tied up all the time. Of course, I still use ponytails when I work, so my new discovery of Loft’s new hair ties has been great. They don’t leave a dent in my hair even after having it up for the entire day. Also they’re comfortably stretchy that I can wear them around my wrist without irrupting it. They do remind me of the key holder things though, haha. And the downside is that they’re pricey. (I shop at Loft for clothes so much that I had a coupon that made them pretty much free for me though.)

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Amy’s too kind and got me a few other things, one of them was this adorable hand sanitizer holder from Bath and Body Works. (Honestly though, I use these sanitizers for their fragrance than anything. I don’t believe hand sanitizers gives people the proper hygiene compared to actually washing their hands.) This holder, however, holds special meaning to the both of us because we were watching Yuuri on Ice, an ice skating anime, together as the anime aired.

After I finished Yuuri on Ice, I was sort of obsessed with looking at #Victuuri fanart. Then I made myself this desktop wallpaper. Complete credits to

After I finished Yuuri on Ice, I was sort of obsessed with finding #Victuuri fanart. Then I made myself this desktop wallpaper. Complete credits to @asian_cat_lady for the art I used in the background.

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As you would imagine, I am that annoying pal that writes essays with her snaps. But anyway, don’t mind the grainy Snapchat photo. I just wanted to share that I finally got new glasses! I have a very round (and big) face and I’ve never been satisfied with the frames I’ve used in the past. I like these though. What initiated the visit to the optometrist was actually because I have to get my driver’s license renewed. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have gone. I know, I’m bad. 😂😂

Video Favorites

I don’t keep up with the ex-Exo members anymore, to be quite honest, but this song is so beautiful and I hate that I wasn’t aware it existed earlier. It’s just the type of music I’ve been listening to as of late (R&B, electronic, etc), too. And it’s nice to hear Luhan’s voice once again after so long .(I also had a mini Luhan kick and discovered “Let Me Stay By Your Side,” which is from a drama or movie (I’m not too sure) and I like the rock elements in that one.)

I guess it was predictable that I’d share Exo’s new song, For Life. As (almost) always, I prefer the Mandarin version. Plus, my bae, Yixing, is the first to sing. So proud. :’) This is the first year where I haven’t bought Exo’s Christmas album off iTunes right after their release, but I’m sure I’ll fix that this month in January when I have more money to spend. (I’ve been trying to not use that much because I need to take care of my upcoming spring semester tuition bill soon. Not to mention end of the year Christmas presents, taxes, and payments have had a toll on my checking account. Priorities, priorities.)

Around Christmas, it only feels right to listen to ballads. At least to me. This one has been on constant repeat because I love the vocals. I hadn’t heard of this singer prior.

LOL. So let me explain. I’m sharing this video not because of the actual content (though it is kind of cool). I just really love the instrumental as the background music so, so much! Its light, cheery beat is perfect for the new year, I think.

If you guys read this post, you know that I AM SO HYPED.

For obvious reasons if you saw my last post of 2016, I’ve been listening to the entire Nirvana in Fire OST a ton lately; it fits so well with the drama. And, after 54 episodes, you bet I was attached to this opening theme.

A similar case happened with Yuuri on Ice‘s opening. It’s hard not to belt out “WE WERE BORN TO MAKE VICTUURI HISTORY!!!” after hearing it 12 times. 😄 Oh and it’s really interesting that the opening had slight changes to it throughout the series.

What I’ve Been Watching

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Nirvana in Fire10/10 [Completed]

I can’t gush about this historical drama enough. This is seriously the best of the best; I highly recommend it for the meticulous, well-written storyline and complex, well developed characters. Gah, there’s so much to love. All the folk that I know that have watched it praise it infinitely as well (therefore it’s not just me). The only downside is that the first few episodes are confusing because they’re setting up the story and setting, but if you can get past the slow beginning you won’t be able to stop until you reach the end.

princess-weiyoung-8

Princess Weiyoung7/10 [Completed]

I did create a review so if you want to read my full thoughts read that post. However, I do think that review is a lot more positive than I meant it to be. In hindsight, now that the post watching high is over I realized I had a lot of problems with this drama. It was certainly entertaining and extremely compelling because of the fast paced storyline. Also, Luo Jin and Tang Yan’s onscreen chemistry is on fire. Reasonably so, too, since the couple recently confirmed they’re dating in real life. But aside from the gripping storyline, fast pacing, and main couple’s chemistry it lacked a lot in the writing department (so many dreaded loop holes!), the acting was pretty awkward sometimes, and the CGI effects were so cringeworthy (I still cannot get over that butterfly and cliff scenes). It didn’t help that I saw Nirvana in Fire right after this. The latter blows this one out of the water, for sure.

Yuri on Ice - ?/10 [Currently Watching]

Yuuri on Ice8.5/10 [Completed]

I have to admit that I originally thought this was going to be another fluff anime that would be entertaining but lack substance with its straightforward storyline. Thankfully, it wasn’t how I imagined it’d be. I was pleasantly surprised with this series’ progression in 12 episodes. Yuuri grew so much under Victor’s guidance and influence. One of my favorite aspects to the show was that when Yuuri skated his programs his reflections weren’t withheld from the viewers; we got to witness beautiful skating but also uncover his thoughts. I also love that viewers get to meet and follow along several character arcs aside from the main three (Yuuri, Victor, and Yurio). Also, this was my first M/M romance and yaoi/BL anime, and it was a nice change. Is anyone else squealing that #Victuuri is definitely a thing now? #PossibleWeddingBells? And Yuuri’s last free skate performance was breathtaking and moving to watch. I’m so proud of him and Yurio for breaking their personal records and Victor’s. (Finally Yurio’s heart has melted, Yuuri has gained confidence in himself, and even Victor has matured.) Gah, episodes 10-12 were fabulous. I can’t wait to see what they mean by “second level.” The second season set for next year will surely be just as fab as the first, I hope.

I’ll end this post with the ending from Yuuri on Ice, which is so new years appropriate: (I love the Instagram-esque theme, hehe!)


Just a heads up that I’m about to return to posting bookish posts after this one goes live. Finally, right? So stay tuned for that in the future. As always, thanks so much for reading, and until next time!

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13 thoughts on “Summing It Up: December 2016

  1. Lois says:

    WE WERE BORN TO MAKE HISTORY!!! Damn that song for getting me hooked to this show haha. I still fail at catching up cause I’ve still got two episodes left – blame the ice hockey and room reorganisation for that.

    Congrats on your exams results. I swear by my final year of university I was just looking to pass and B’s were my usual goal and if I got an A I’d treat myself to new books haha.

    Also looooove the new glasses. They definitely suit you. Enjoy the rest of your holiday and I hope 2017 is nothing but amazing. 😀

    Like

  2. Liam @ Hey Ashers! says:

    Hurray for surviving exams! And hurray for super cool glasses, too; those frames are awesome.

    Oh my god, Yuri on Ice. I need to rewatch it soon; it gave me so many full-body chills, and I teared up so many times in the final episodes (in a good way). I’m always starved for good m/m stories, and this one really gave me a reason to live.

    Wah, so much beautiful music! AND ALL THE EXO GIFTS.

    Have you watched Goblin yet? I’m dying to find the official, full version of its opening song (which might be titled “Never Far Away”?). I need it, and I need it yesterday.

    Hurray for upcoming book reviews! Can’t wait to read them all. =)

    Like

  3. Lais says:

    Congratulations on your exams, Summer! You did pretty well, so don’t stress much about it!
    Isn’t it crazy that For Life started playing right as I opened your post? Oh, well, that just shows I’m in love with this album! The great thing about EXO Christmas’ albums is that I feel like listening to them throughout the entire year, not only around Christmas time.
    Everyone raves about Yuuri on Ice sooo much. I have started watching only a few animes (the really popular ones like Death Note and Sword Art Online), but never finished them. I don’t know why, but I can hardly ever connect with the characters. I’ll probably try watching other shoujo animes, before watching this one. But it looks very nice, indeed!
    I hope you have a great January, Summer 🙂

    Like

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