Summing It Up: January 2017

summing-it-up_-jan-2017

Happy February, everyone!

I guess it’s been pretty evident with all the comments being left unanswered (again) and my sporadic activity in the blogosphere that I’ve returned to school for the spring semester! I don’t know how but I managed to remain on a reading roll even with my hectic schedule. I read 5 books (which is a lot for me!) and published 9 blog posts in January-with many of them being book reviews. Like where did this ridiculous (but good) streak come from? :’)

Anyway, there’s much to share from January so let’s move on, shall we?


– What I Read –

That is correct! I decided to add a whole new section to these monthly features. I do consider Xingsings to be mainly a book blog… so I have no idea why I didn’t share the books I read in a month in the past. Anyhow, I’m going to starting do this for future Summing It Up posts. And I got this original gif idea from the amazing Miguel at The Quirky Reader after noticing this post of his mid last year; he’s truly a master at making graphics! Anyway, I was waiting for my first monthly rewind of the year to give this a try.


– January Blog Posts –


– January Events –

So January was a special month (despite the distressing events that took place in the U.S. and across the world).

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Xingsings’ Blogiversary: January 2

This was not kept a secret, but my blog is now two years old. I’m honestly mind blown. Has it really been that long already? Regardless, yay for Xingsings 2nd blogiversary!

🔹Home – Gabrielle Aplin🔹 I think aside from my profile picture and Instagram story, I haven't shared my face on this account. So what is the reason behind posting this Summer-in-her-natural-state (#bookhugger status) photo? 🤔 Well, despite the fact that I look like I’m 12 here, I turn 21 today! 🙋🏻🎂🥂⭐️ I woke up to many birthday wishes, THANK YOU. 💙 And thank you to those that sent me unexpected cards/gifts as well. I am truly blessed with the loving, caring family & friends (in real life + on the internet) that I have in my life. 💕 In lieu of today’s celebration (bc I can’t cut a slice of cake for each of you virtually 🍰), I’m going to do the #meetthebookstagrammer tag. Thanks to these lovely ladies! 😘💙 @ireeadthereforeiam @ourbookworlds @stateofiction @_thebookharpy 1) Where in the world are you from? Southern US! 2) When did you start your bookstagram account? 6/26/15. 3) Would you rather be an author or a publisher? Definitely publisher; I’m no writer. 4) Do you prefer standalones or series? I get attached to fictional characters easily, so series. Plus, fantasy is my fav genre and those tend to pan well with multiple #books. 5) Which author has been your biggest inspiration? J.K. Rowling bc HP is truly a magical series; it’s converted many nonreaders to #bookworms, including me. 6) Where in the world do you wish to travel? Ireland & Vietnam. 7) Cats or dogs? Both bc I adore both. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I became a cat lady in the future. 8) What's your fav movie? My favs (plural) are Beauty and the Beast, Howl’s Moving Castle, & Pride and Prejudice. #somanycartoons #stillakid 9) What's your biggest fear? This is so selfish, but I don’t want to witness the death of the people that I love. So, being the lone survivor or last to die. 10) If you're stuck on an island, which 3 books would you wanna be stuck with? Any 3 titles featured in this post; they’re all my all time favs! Lastly, I know this is cheating, but I tag everyone to do this tag! 💛 #bookstagram #bookblogger #bookmodeling (hah, I tried.) #prideandprejudice #harrypotter #halfthesky #theglasscastle #thetruthaboutforever #alittlelife

A post shared by S U M M E R (@readxings) on

I also turned 21! (Thank you for all the birthday wishes, by the way. 💙) So I can drink legally now. I didn’t drink or go to a bar, but knowing me that was not unexpected. Instead, I hung out with my dad and rewatched Beauty and the Beast, my favorite original Disney animation. #foreverakid (Confession: I still haven’t tried a sip of anything alcoholic yet.)

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On top of those two happy events, there were two new year celebrations for me. The first is pretty obvious, the second being Tết or the Vietnamese/Lunar New Year. It feels strange that the latter fell in January. >.< But I’m not going to complain about getting to eat yummy Viet food early.

For the start of 2017, I also reorganized my bookshelf from a quasi rainbow back to the genre/series/authors set up. I love it! I missed having the books in a series together, and this is way more practical when trying to find a title. Plus, there’s still a mini color coordinated section as you see with the photo on the right.

Not a big deal, but with all the new changes I felt inspired to finally update my profile picture for my personal Facebook account (my previous one was actually from 2015), my Twitter, and even my Instagram. But the last one is different-I used an app that transformed me into an animated character, LOL. Anyway, the photo isn’t the best quality by any means, but it truly reflects my current physical appearance and personality perfectly. XD

As mentioned earlier, I went back to school. And it’s been so manic-especially since I’ve also been looking for a second job as a pharmacy intern. I’ve applied to Walgreens but I don’t know how likely it is I’ll get a position if it’s an online app that many can fill out. But I really hope to get a job somewhere before the summer!

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-12-27-59-pm

And for those curious about a P1’s spring semester, here’s a quick glance at my schedule. I have 2 classes less than last semester, but it truly feels like there’s more work since most of the courses (4!) are beginning to emphasize the importance of teamwork, good communication, and interprofessional relationships by making the students work together. And, of course, we’re finally getting down and dirty with all the drugs as well. (Before we were only expected to know the general categories (e.g. CNS, cardiovascular, etc) and brand/generic names.) This semester counseling points and therapeutic categories (e.g. ACE inhibitor, dihydro calcium channel blocker, etc) are required to be memorized, too.

Anyway, it’s been tough. So that’s why I’ve been MIA and (somewhat) inactive. Comments will have to continue to be left temporarily unanswered for now, unfortunately. I promise, I will get back to them when I can. I know that you all also lead very busy lives as well, therefore I hope that you can understand! 😀


– Favorites –

picmonkey-collage

Not only was I on a roll with reading, most of the books I completed were absolutely wonderful. When Breath Becomes Air (my review), Between Shades of Gray (my review), and Wintersong were the top three. WBBA was so inspiring. BSoG was an important story that reflected a side of WWII I (shamefully) didn’t know existed; I finished it in one sitting actually. Wintersong surprised me for it’s one of the better ARCs I’ve read in a long while. (I’ve been on a 2 stars streak with most ARCs it seems lately.) I’m leaning towards 4 stars for that title.

I had a massive bookish photoshoot one day, and have upped my Instagram game I never thought I'd buy flowers and light candles for booktagram but I guess I've reached that point now. LOL. I do like the new look though! I also joined my first rep search. Not unexpected, I didn't get it. However, it was the matter of just entering that made me feel accomplished. I normally don't like participating in such things, because I want to forever remain as an honest blogger. I don't want to represent or support things that I don't 100% support or wouldn't recommend. I digress... XD

I had a massive bookish photoshoot one day, and, guys, I’ve upped my Instagram game! I never thought I’d buy flowers and light candles for booktagram but I guess I’ve reached that point now. LOL. I do like the new look though! I also joined my first rep search. It was for the Book Boyfriend Box. Not unexpected, I didn’t get it. However, it was the matter of just entering that made me feel accomplished. I normally don’t like participating in such things, because I want to be honest with the content I post. I don’t want to represent or support things that I don’t 100% wouldn’t recommend. Plus, I don’t mind supporting businesses if my wallet permits anyway. I digress… XD

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I got many nice gifts from friends and loved ones, but one of the best was from my dear friend, Savindi, who used to blog at The Streetlight Reader. She spoiled with way, way too much. Of the many things she sent me, I got these beautiful art prints (I’m only linking the Princess Mononoke one). She knows how much I adore Studio Ghibli, and so everything I received was pretty much Miyazaki related. (Again, thanks so much, Savindi!) On my last day as a 20 year old, I also painted something (not very well) but it was nice to dabble in a little watercolor after so long. I even experimented with some gold ink. So, it took some maneuvering but I got the prints and new art piece to fit onto the walls in my room.

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Another favorite that I received was a DVD of Beauty and the Beast. (My dad gave me the money to buy it! So even though I went out to purchase it myself, he really got it for me. 🙂 ) I’ve wanted this movie ever since I could remember, but we couldn’t afford buying it when I was a kid (instead we were Blockbuster frequenters and rented it) and when we were able to Beauty and the Beast became a collector’s item. Therefore, when I heard the 25th anniversary edition was being rereleased, I jumped on the opportunity.

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I’m not big on candles because if burned too long, they give me a major headache. However, I do light ones that have a gentler smell to them. I recently purchased the “Midnight Blue Citrus” candle from Bath & Body Works and I’ve been loving it! It’s so fresh but also not too strong. And, yes, the blue jar was what initially drew me to it. 😉

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Simply, this new cat mug from World Market has been the go to one I’ve reached for as of late. It’s just so adorable. ^.^


– Video Favorites –

How did I miss this spectacular band for so long? I vaguely remember having a DAY6 song in my iTunes library on repeat (after some research that track was “First Time“) but I wasn’t a fan until I heard this song. It kind of reminds me of an anime opening? It must be the rock elements. And I love that they compose and write their own music!

I’m certain that I listened to this a limitless amount of times. 😉 Korean Hip Hop and R&B were genres I got really into in 2016, so it’s not a surprise I liked this song so much. Plus, all the units of NCT always delivers comebacks nothing short of brilliant. Their vocals, dancing, and visuals are fab.

And can I just say I love the beat from “Baby Don’t Like It” another track also off of the new NCT 127 album?

Edit 7/6/17: I might be the only one that does this but I read my old posts sometimes for fun. (I have no life.) Anyway, I noticed this video got taken down. So here’s a replacement!

Best instrumental of the month goes to a newly discovered artist called In Love With a Ghost! Such beautiful and soothing arrangements!

I AM SO NOT OKAY THAT THEY COLLABED AGAIN? Gah, they look so sweet. And, Bongyoung, I thought you promised you wouldn’t touch May J Lee?? 😉


The formatting did change some and I added a “What I Read” segment. However, did you notice something else different? That was missing? That’s right, I didn’t include a “What I’ve Been Watching” section… because I haven’t been watching anything, haha. That shows just how busy I’ve been. 😉 I hope that you guys liked it nonetheless though. Thanks for tuning, as always. Wishing you all a lovely February! 💙

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30 thoughts on “Summing It Up: January 2017

  1. Fadwa @ Word Wonders says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY ❤❤
    I hope your birthday was a great one!
    I celebrated my 1st blogoversary this month as well and I still can’t wrap my head around how it’s already been a year.
    I read When Breath Becomes Air in January too and I loved it, I related to it in SO many ways, I’m set on getting a physical copy sometime soon.
    Oh and good luck with getting dirty with the drug, I had pharmacology last semester and it truly scarred me. It all got confusing and mixed up haha expecially the cardiovascular ones. I liked the anti-inflammatories and the like though haha.
    Anyway, enough rambling, I hope you have a great February 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m only getting to this now but THANK YOU SO MUCH, Fadwa! ❤ ❤

      My 21st birthday was a nice one despite the fact that I deviated from the common American tradition of having my first taste of alcohol, lol.

      Ah, yes! I totally remember you loving When Breath Becomes Air. It’s such an important book especially for students planning to pursue a career in medicine.

      Thank you! Oh gosh, I can so relate! Our pharmacology course is combined with pathophysiology over here; I just finished part two of the sequence, which is the last of pharmacology for me but unfortunately this also means that I’ll be moving on to pharmacotherapy henceforth. There’s just so much information to retain and a lot of it is similar. I really struggle with remembering the antihypertensive drugs as well as the therapeutic agents against cancer… XD

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ravenblake99 says:

    Love your post and Happy Blogoversary!!! It looks like you had an amazing month! Beauty and the beast is my favorite fairytale too and I always love watching that movie! I’m not into hip hop but I’ll definitely check out more songs from NCT127. Day 6’s I Wait definitely sounds like a anime song and I enjoyed it. I loved the art prints and the way you decorated it on the walls of your room. I hope you have a wonderful february and happy reading! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks so much, Raven!

      Me too! I love Beauty and the Beast because it’s one of the few stories where the heroine doesn’t fall in love with a handsome prince (that is not until the end is he handsome). Plus, it’s a huge bonus that Belle is so well-read and intelligent.

      Right? I think that’s why DAY6’s “I Wait” appealed to me so much. XD

      And thank you so much! I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Analee @ Book Snacks says:

    Omg TWO YEARS!! It’s almost two years for me too and agh. I still can’t believe it. Congrats on this milestone! It’s crazy how time flies. ❤ And gosh, you’ve been more successful than me at this whole thing haha, even with your studying and classes! I know how difficult that can be, so girl, kudos to you! ❤ ❤

    I’m going to have to check out When Breath Becomes Air, Between Shades of Gray and Wintersong! They seem really good, and your recommendation has me hopeful. 🙂 Seems like this month was pretty successful yay! (And omg lovely pictures as always, Summer!! So jealous haha.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Analee! It’s insane, right?

      No, don’t think like that! I haven’t been more successful! But I do 100% agree that juggling blogging while going to school is super tough. That’s why I’m sure people understand when we, students, take unexplained hiatuses. XD ❤

      When Breath Becomes Air and Between Shades of Grey should be required reading because they’re just that important and good. And I do hope you enjoy Wintersong if you haven’t already gotten to it.

      (As for the compliment on the pictures, thank you so much! :’) )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lais says:

    Summer, I’m glad you had a great reading month besides being super busy! Also, you had a lot of things to celebrate this month, so I’m happy that everything worked out.
    My shelves are organized by series, but I do have a segment in which I tried creating a rainbow with my contemporaries. It didn’t work out perfectly, but I still like how it looks. I think I need more books to make it look nicer, hahah. By the way, your bedroom looks so cute! (Excuse my obsession with bedroom decorations).
    And you should listen to DAY6 previous albums! My favorite songs are Blood and Hunt. They’re such a great band; I really wish their company gave them more attention, because I always feel like they deserve more appreciation than they actually get.
    Anyway, I hope you have a fantastic February! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I’m sorry it took me forever to reply to this but thank you so much, Lais! Indeed, January was a marvelous month for me. ^.^

      I think organizing your books by series is very logical. I currently have my shelves arranged the same way as you do then! By series and then rainbow for contemporary standalones.

      Ah, thank you! Me too. I love watching house/loft tours, home makeovers, or anything of those sort. Also, I fantasize about decorating my own place all the time. XD

      After you mentioned DAY6’s “Blood” and “Hunt,” and I went to check them out. I love “Blood” a lot so thank you! And I agree, they’re too underrated!

      Like

  5. Lois says:

    That cat mug is everything!!! It’s sooooooo cute.
    Even with all the hard work I miss being a student. This adulthood thing sucks haha.
    Again, Happy Birthday. Your days sounds like my kind of celebration. I always forget that the legal drinking age in the states is 21. Oh well, it’s not like drinking is a bit part of my life. It’s hilarious cause of out my friends I think I was the only one that didn’t care about having the first legal drink on my 18th.
    Between Shades of Gray has definitely been added to my tbr pile and I’d recommend Salt to the Sea because it covers such an overlooked tragedy in World War II.
    I’m also officially starting the countdown to A Conjuring of Light. 17 days to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank youuuu. I’ve gotten much use out of that mug; the only annoying thing is that it’s hard to wash with that random (but cute) cat in the middle, haha.

      You already know this by now but, yeah, I am so not ready to start adulting. I’ll savor being a student for now. 😉

      Thank you so much! It’s already pretty much been half a year since I’ve turned 21 but I haven’t tried a sip of alcohol yet. I guess I’m similar to you then. I don’t have much interest right now. Plus, a lot of my friends are quite heavy drinkers, which has somewhat turned me off towards trying alcohol. I don’t want to get into the routine while I’m in school, I guess.

      Between Shades of Grey was brilliant. Oh yeah! I remember reading your Salt to the Sea review way back. I know that book has multiple POVs; a character from BSoG is in SttS, I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lois says:

        I’d be paranoid about breaking the cat and that would crush me haha.

        Student life is the best life.

        I’m with you on the alcohol. Most of my friends tend to drink heavily and a lot of the times I end up being the babysitter, which is not fun at all. I’m a casual drinker. I’ll have one maybe two drinks but I will never excessively drink cause I see the state my friends get in and I don’t want to be in that sort of stupor.

        I need to read Between Shades of Grey. It’s been a while since I actually read a historical fiction and I’m super intrigued by this cameo now.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Zoe says:

    SUMMER! Happy belated blogoversery and birthday! You know you’re one of my favorite bloggers and I always adore reading your posts. ❤ And I cannot wait to read Wintersong – it’s one of my most anticipated reads and seeing you enjoyed it so much makes me want to read it even more. xD Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous recap!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Belated reply but THANK YOU so much, Zoe! ❤ I probably always reply with this but reading your comments always brightens my day. And haha, by now, I’ve already read your review of Wintersong. I’m glad that you liked that one overall. 🙂

      Like

  7. Miguel Galang says:

    HOW CAN I SEE THIS JUST NOW??? Those are some lovely gifs, Summer! You definitely learned from the master hahaha jk! 😉 Belated happy birthday and blogoversary as well! Here’s to more amazing moments in reading and blogging ❤ Btw your desktop/workplace is sooooooo pretty 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Ahaha, well THANK YOU, Miguel! I feel bad for answering this comment so late, but thank you for the birthday wish as well. 🙂 And thank you for you comment about my reading nook. (Omg, this reply is so receptive, haha. But thank you!! ❤ )

      Like

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