Sigh. I haven’t been the best blogger lately. There are so many books I want tor read, so many reviews I want to write, so many blogger friends I want to check in with, and so much I want to share but, ultimately, I can’t find the time to do these things anymore.
Last month, I mentioned that I was offered an internship at where I did my rotation in June. I work about two to three days at that job and I still work a day at the salon in the week. Of course, now that the fall semester has begun there’s school, extracurriculars, and volunteering as well… (Tangent: I thought I’d be done with extracurriculars after I got into grad/professional school but nope. The possibility of applying for residency programs (unlike med students it is optional for pharm students) makes me feel like I ought to stay involved with those organizations… I love them but they eat up my time like crazy.)
To say the least, I’m a little overwhelmed with life right now. I have very little down time to enjoy much these days. When I get home I’m too tired to read. I know, what kind of reader am I to say that?! Well, I need to be able to think when I read and, at the end of the day, that’s the last thing I want to do after attending classes and studying. Instead I’ve only been indulging in mindless entertainment like watching Asian dramas before I fall asleep. (The “What I’ve Been Watching” section is massive this month.)
Anyway, with all that being said, this inactivity in the blogosphere is going to have to be the norm for a while until I can adjust. Count on me still posting these monthly recaps/wrap ups/favorites posts and the occasional book review (I hope) though, because I don’t want to disappear completely yet. Blogging is still a hobby I cherish, but sometimes it’s important to prioritize real life over the internet one. I hope you guys can understand. And so that explains where I’ve been and why I haven’t been on here at all.
Read on if you want to know more specifics like what exactly I’ve been watching. There will be a few things bookish but not really. (I mean I haven’t been reading so…)
– What I’ve Read –
Good and bad news on the reading front in August. The bad news is, as you can guess, I only read one book in August: Lord of Shadows. The good news is that I enjoyed it a ton. The story picks up right from Lady Midnight and I found it greatly entertaining. Although, I think this is a 3 star range kind of book for me because I didn’t quite love it as much as LM.
– August Blog Posts –
- Summing It Up: July 2017 (Thank You for 1K Followers!) [Wrap Up/Favorites]
– Favorites –
I revamped my Instagram feed, and I think it looks the best it ever has if I do say so myself. (It feels boastful to list this as a favorite, and the first one at that, but I am truly so, so proud of myself. ^.^) Before I started working at my second job and going to school, I designated a few days to take a lot of photos. I do take all my photos myself including the bookish shelfies. It’s tough when you’re the model and photographer but I really wanted to do something that would make me stand out among the community on that platform. It would be nice if I could grow my account, but ultimately the numbers aren’t that important to me. Instead, I just reallyenjoy meeting fellow bookworms on there and gushing about books with them. I’ve met a number of friends since my Instagram rebirth if you will. Also, the Penguin Teen Instagram actually shared one of my posts (and a Sarah Dessen one!!); I’m still fangirling over this recognition. T_T
One of the perks of working so much and still living at home is that the extra money flows in rather fast. You all are familiar with my ridiculous spending habits. Thankfully, because I’m always at school or work, I rarely go shopping now. But I still do some online and I’ve bought a lot of bookish candles. (I know… Last month, I said I was done with buying literary candles and bookish merch… but I guess not.) And a few days ago I received my Wick and Fable‘s August Anime Classics Sampler box and I truly am so impressed with the content that was included. All of the scents of the candles were exactly my style as well; I love how they smell. I’m definitely buying more candles from this company in the future, for sure.
I can’t recall how I discovered Alchemy & Ink, a bookish candle shop, but I found them when they literally had less than 50 followers on their Instagram. And look how far they’ve grown in just a month. It makes me so incredibly happy that they’re getting popular already because their candles are pure aesthetic. Everything from the labels to the pop on lids are matte so the candles photograph beautifully. They’re also soy candles with wood wicks. The wood is sourced from a company that grows a tree every $100 they receive in orders, so that’s pretty awesome. I’ve also gotten to get to know the storeowner, Natalie, and she’s so lovely. I ended up preordering two of her candles a few weeks ago and I’ve already gotten my candles. I had a crazy long unboxing on my Instagram story but it’s gone now (they only last 24 hours). The scent profiles of the two I bought are amazing. I really like that the Ravenclaw one doesn’t have any paper/parchment notes like other Ravenclaw candles I’ve seen. The Wizard Howl candle is masculine but light; I really love the throw on that one.
P.S. This candle company has great customer service. I’ve tried five bookish/literary candles now and I think Alchemy & Ink and In the Wick of Time are the best with correspondence and friendliness. I also like The Melting Library but their shipping takes a very long time and it’s harder to get a hold of them, but they do eventually contact you if you put a request.
I am in LOVE with the Waterstones Exclusive editions of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows. It took some hunting before I could get my hands on these but the wait for the shipping was so worth it. :’) But, unfortunately, I’m not sure if you can tell but the spine of Lord of Shadows arrived slightly damaged which is a bummer but I don’t feel like contacting the seller and going through the process of returning this one and waiting for another. It’s disappointing but I think I’ll live.
Last but certainly not least was an art commission that I requested by an artist named Aparna! I adore her whimsical and fun art style! During the process of this project, we became friends and we talk all the time now. And yes, this is me! If you want to know the details and what they mean, I have an explanation in the caption of my Instagram post.
– Video Favorites –
This debut song so reminds me of OneRepublic’s Dreaming Out Loud (2007) album, aka a CD I exhausted when I was in middle/high school. Anyway I have high hopes for The Rose because I really fell in love with this song and replayed it so much in August.
Oh my gosh, why is Sunmi so attractive?? She’s well rounded with her singing, dancing, and visuals. I used to be obsessed with “24 Hours” back in the day. “Gasina” took some time to warm up to but after a few listens I’m humming this all the time.
No secret that I’ve been a fan of DEAN ever since I discovered that he produced one of Exo’s songs. His voice is so smooth and versatile; he’s also too handsome. >.<
This drama, Princess Agents, did a number on my heart. Actually, I am still mourning over that ending! (LIKE WHY, writers? WHY?!) Apparently, there’ll be a season 2. I don’t know how I feel about that because I wish the story was wrapped up in the first season; I mean they had FIFTY EIGHT episodes to do that… >.> Anyway, this song has Yan Xun in the thumbnail but it gives me all the Xing’er and Yuwen Yue feels more. T_T
Me and my dad watched this (super) short film together and beyond enjoyed it! Incredibly touching and heartwarming! If you have five minutes (which you totally should) then this is a must see!
Black Pink is probably the prettiest girl group in K-pop right now. Like omg, how are their bodies all like that?? I can’t believe they used Kyle Hanagami’s choreo for “Partition” but I LOVE IT. They also slayed their cover of Miguel’s “Sure Thing.”
Taeyeon’s my favorite female solo artist but, to be honest, I’m not a sone. I mean I like SNSD and acknowledge they’re popularity is well deserved but the only songs I love love are their debut, “Into the New World,” and their last song as OT9, “Mr. Mr.” But “All Night” is so funky and I’m finding myself replaying it a lot! The video also kind of appeals to my age group as well. The colors and outfits are so point. (I really want Yoona’s blue sequin top and gold skirt.)
I used to watch all the 1 Million Dance Studio videos but… like I said, I don’t have the time to do that anymore. I really liked this one though! (Junsun Yoo never disappoints when it comes to creating choreo for Zico songs, ahaha.)
– What I’ve Been Watching –I had extremely high expectations for this one after all the buzz, but, alas, it wasn’t my cup of tea. The first episode was promising but it sort of went downhill after that for me. I find Nam Joo Hyuk attractive and charming though. I even really liked his character. But more when he was in his own time period; modern day Habaek didn’t really appeal to me. The biggest deal breaker was the female lead’s character’s personality; she annoyed me incredibly and I couldn’t deal with her any longer. In additions, I found the pacing very slow. Therefore, I dropped after episode 3 or 4. I can’t recall when I last enjoyed a Korean historical drama, it might have been Empress Ki, which is a while ago. This one isn’t quite as good as that one but I really liked The King in Love for the first 5-6 episodes that I watched. I believe it’s going to have 40 or so episodes so I decided to drop it for now. I can’t afford to commit to another drama time-wise (nor do I have the patience to watch so many ongoing dramas at once)… However, I do have intentions of returning to watching this in the future when I’m more free and show has been completed. So, instead of “dropped” it’s more like “on hold.” (P.S. If you hate love triangles this is NOT for you.) Also, this was my first Hong Jong Hyun drama (I’ve only seen him on WGM) and his character is so nice. He seems calculative and intelligent but also selfless; just the type I typically fall for. Both the two leads, Dilraba Dilmurat and Vin Zhang, were in Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, a drama I so enjoyed, so I wanted to check out their performances in this one. They play as a couple in The King’s Woman, and I think Bin Bin is doing a better job at making his role convincing compared to Dilraba. Unfortunately, I also thought that Dilraba’s character is a bit inconsistent in the story. She was so badass in the beginning being the daughter of a renown warrior and everything, but now she’s less outspoken and kind of spineless. I’m also upset that she’s making some selfish decisions that are affecting others. Anyway, it’s still too early to reveal all my thoughts. I’ll update more next month. I’m just ready for the romance to blossom and for Dilraba’s character to move on to loving the king, lol. Another Chinese wuxia because these are my favorite! It has Liu Shi Shi (who played the lead in Scarlet Heart, aka one of my favorite Chinese romance dramas of all time) and William Chan. The first couple episodes were so unnecessary and misleading because the current story is totally different from the plot of those early episodes. So far, the characters are okay, not spectacular. And the dubbing is irking me even though it’s Bian Jiang, who has a superb voice for guys. (He also voiced Yuwen Yue in Princess Agents and Ye Hua in Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms.) Visually the couple in this movie are so handsome/pretty. I knew I had to mark this as “to watch” because Kento Yamasaki is the prince of shoujo manga/anime into live action adaptations. Overall, this was heartwarming and fluffy. The movie poster may suggest differently but this is actually more of platonic kind of storyline than a romantic one. And I really appreciated that. Another good looking cast can be found with Our Meal for Tomorrow. (I can’t be the only one that thinks that Yuko Araki, the lead actress, is a beauty. So many of the scenes with her were stunning.) The story itself is a bit simple and ordinary, but still sweet. I did like that this movie featured a pure, romantic love story and friendship, free of heady sex and lust. Lastly, the winning aspect of this film was certainly the gorgeous, well done cinematography. Despite the sobfest with the finale, I had SO MUCH fun watching this. Up there with Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, this is one of the better dramas I’ve seen and finished this year. I highly recommend if you love historical dramas with badass females (and ones that stay badass throughout the entire drama). I also think the cast did a phenomenal job playing their roles convincingly and realistically. I couldn’t decide who I liked best. Xing’er, Yuwen Yue, and Yan Xun were all fantastic and rootable characters despite their faults and flaws. Unexpectedly, I decided to drop this one because I don’t foresee myself watching the last four episodes anytime soon. I mean, I might return to it someday just not now. From my previous Summing It Up mini reviews for this drama, I did find Suspicious Partner entertaining while I was actively watching it as it aired but it’s just been too long since I’ve seen episode 35 to continue and still understand. But I do highly recommend this drama if you want a light, feel-good comedy/crime/romance drama. The romance is swoonworthy and the acting is topnotch. (And JI CHANG WOOK… /heart eyes/)
And that’s it for August! As I was embedding the Youtube videos into the post… I noticed that Youtube changed its look! 😮 When did this happen? Now, you guys really get the scale of how much of no longer having a life I have, lol. (Oh boy, that was worded kind of awkward, but I’m going to just go with it and hit publish.) Hope you all have a lovely Sunday! 🙂