Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016 END OF YEAR RECAP // HELLO 2017



I can't believe 2016 is over already (and omg I'm so sorry about how late this is). More than other years, this one has just flown by without any breathers. A lot of good things happened and a lot of meh things happened. I can't believe I'm halfway done with my third year of college OR that it's almost time to go back to school and be about that grind again.


I ACTUALLY COMPLETED MY 2016 READING CHALLENGE ON GOODREADS. This is the first time I've ever actually done that so I'm kind of (very. I'm very) excited. It feels so good!


So, yeah. It's not a lot but that's not the point. The point is I finished something and set myself reachable goals, which I need to remember to do in the future. 


Thus I am just increasing my goal by ten books for 2017. That's 45 books which is very reasonable and about 3.75 books per month. I think I can do it. 

SHORTEST BOOK

A Gallagher Wedding
by Ally Carter
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
12 pages

LONGEST BOOK

Winter
by Marissa Meyer
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
832  pages

FAVORITES 

All of these were five star reads and my ABSOLUTE favorites hands down.



Forged in Blood I by Lindsay Buroker
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria


Forged in Blood II by Lindsay Buroker
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

LEAST FAVORITES


Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner (shallow characters, meh plot, 🌟🌟)
All Fall Down by Ally Carter (romantic interest that served no purpose but to form the third point of the love triangle, 🌟🌟🌟)
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (me=very confused the WHOLE time, also abuse within relationships 👎, 🌟🌟)



I'm not kidding when I say music really is my therapist. I live to the beats of my favorite songs and they carry me through my low moments, my anxiety, and my happiest moments, when life is full of happiness and possibility. Sometimes I feel like it's my lifeline. SO here are my 12 favorite songs of 2016.

(pictures are linked to youtube)















Now that I think about it, a lot of things happened:
  • I learned more and more that to be myself is more important than to be liked by people or noticed by them etc. etc. Now, to put that knowledge into action. 
  • I WENT TO TAIWAN FOR 2 WEEKS. Not by myself though. Ha. (Psst. It's where my mom's people live.)
  • I worked really hard on not pulling back into my shell so much and actually letting some of my friends in. It's hard. But worth it.
  • I got my ears pierced at 20. But hey, I did it. \(^_^)/
  • I studied many hours for a Biology CLEP (exam for credit) and passed
  • I also got really discouraged over graphic design and my professor who teaches graphic design and was in general very burnt out, especially over the last half of the year. (But never fear, I had stern talks with myself and am starting 2017 with renewed determination.)


I probably, no scratch that I do, waste too much time watching tv shows and k-dramas aaand the list goes on. Movies not so much because they make me feel like I'm wasting time which is ironic because I end up spending a lot more time on shows. My brain is weird. It's fine. 



I was EXTREMELY bad about keeping up with Teen Wolf as the new episodes came out so I finally watched everything from Season 1 to Season 3A. I know I know, I still have a lot to catch up on but I feel pretty good about how much I've gotten out of the way. It was so great spending time with the whole squad again too. *all the feels*



Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo has been by far one of my favorite K-dramas EVER TO EXIST. I can't believe it's almost over! I cry. My favorite thing is how the characters are so real--they have ugly cry faces, they yell at each other, they have misunderstandings. There are so few Korean drama cliches of oooh I like guys who are tsundere (act mean and are mean but eventually reveal the softies they are inside) or push me against walls. And, guys, there are all the cute, fuzzy relationship/friendship feels.



Descendents of the Sun aka DOTS aka the drama you may have heard me mention once or twice. That's sarcasm. I've probably mentioned it 50 times. That's only because this is the most heartwrenching drama to exist probably. Also because my husband (Song Joong Ki) stars and is extremely mischievous and brave and honorable. It was really interesting how American soldiers were portrayed in it too all brassy and stubborn. XD This is a romance with a military setting. 👍👍



I can't leave without also fangirling about W - Two Worlds. The premise was SO unique (especially for a k-drama which tend to fall along cliche lines), with manga characters coming to life and the manga world and real world interacting. There was some crazy ish. It felt very thriller-esque, but there were also sweet romantic moments. Oh Yeon Joo (the mc) was literally one of the first/the first female k-drama main character that I didn't have any problems with. And Kang Cheol (lead guy) displayed every emotion so keenly. GAH SO GOOD.




Aaand some of my favorite movies!


I have discovered that apparently I'm one of those people that doesn't really work towards goals that they show everybody. Well, the hard ones anyways. So I'm going to keep my 2017 resolutions a secret for now, but I can still show you how I fared with my 2016 resolutions.

1. Finish all the books you started but put aside.


Uh. That would be a "no".

2. Buy at least one Kpop album. ✔️ Yes! I bought two actually (and this is a big thing because they were my first two ever). I got Twice's first album in Taiwan and later got a BTS album for my sister's birthday.

3. Finish my design website. ✔️ MISSION COMPLETION THANK GOD. I've been needing to make an online design portfolio for. ever. And I finally did. Like two days before the year ended. Procrastination for the win.

4. Go on small adventures. ✔️ I feel like I went on a sizable amount of small adventures even though there's always room for more. I went to a corn maze with my best friend and her boyfriend, I ate at a super cool (new) vintage diner place with my family, I did a Goodwill outfit swap shop with my sister (we bought tops for each other). May 2017 bring all the small adventures.

5. Spend more time with friends. ✔️ I'm the type of person who puts school first. Always. Or almost always, but that's not healthy to do all the time. I think I let myself hang out with friends more even if it was just an hour here or there because our schedules never matched up.

6. Get my ears pierced. ✔️ I had been talking about getting my ears pierced for a while and it was time to woman up and get it done. I'm in love to be honest. What can I say, I'm attracted to shiny things. (Earrings that is. I don't do glitter.)


I feel pretty darn good about getting 5/6. It's probably the most I've achieved since I started making resolutions and crossing things off lists just makes me happy. 


I hope you had a good year, but more importantly I hope that the one to come is even better to you. xoxo

Friday, December 30, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: CHILDREN OF ICARUS







Pages: 313
Published: Aug. 1, 2016
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Mythology
Source: NetGalley/eARC
Cover Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (Ehhh... I'm in LOVE with the wings, but I think the fonts could use some tweaking and I'm not a huge fan of the empty spaces.)


There were several things that made me want to read this book... the fact that it has a blurb that never once actually mentions the main character's name. WHAT. Insanity. Who is this person? I need to know now. 



There's a labyrinth. I mean, labyrinths practically equate to adventure if we're being honest here.

And the angel wings on the cover. Angel wings are cool. Really cool.

All that and what I'm trying to say is--I pretty much knew nothing about this book before reading it. Which leads me to saying it. was. amazing. Everything about it was unexpected and quite uniquely original.

PROS:

  • The history of the mc's civilization. If anyone starts mentioning Greek mythology and deceiving, twisty histories, I am so in. What's even cooler imo is that the story that this book grew from was the one about Icarus, who flew on wings of wax and feathers but then fell to his death. I think the author did a really good job of staying true to the old story but utilizing it in a very new way. 
  • I mentioned deceiving histories, right? Throughout this whole book I kept asking myself, "WHAT THE FRICK IS GOING ON??" The truths and the lies were so well mixed that I felt as naive as the main character. Who was super naive. What is going on?? How did these people end up here?? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE. You know the saying about those people who make you think you know a lot about them but you actually don't. Yup. That applies really well here. 




  • Worldbuilding. I love a rich, intricate, unique story world and that's exactly what I got. It was so lushly described and SO different from any book I'd read before. Okay, you might be saying something like uh Selena what about The Maze Runner, it also has super duper creepy beasties and confusing mazes and young children. Well. You're right. BUT this book has like a weird religous/cult aspect to it that didn't make it similar when I was reading it. It's not sciencey/techy (fear my intelligent use of words) at. all. 
  • The main character's development throughout the book was amazingly done. There were huge changes, growth from a shy, incapable mouse (which sounds mean but is completely accurate) to an independent, strong warrior. It just felt really gradual and natural, not choppy or too abrupt.


CONS:

  • That being said, I have to admit... I was not a fan of the main character for the longest time. Aaand I feel a little guilty about that because admittedly she is pretty relatable to me, to the younger me especially. But being anxious, being shy, being a shadow...does that mean you have to weep uncontrollably when you could be doing SOMETHING to survive? Does that mean that you lose all will to live before you've even tried? Does that mean you stand shivering in fear because you believe so much that you are useless that you risk hurting other people or yourself? Not to me. So I do understand her, I just don't agree that that was the way to deal with things. As you can see by my rant, I was pretty mad about that. *sheepish grin*





  • There were actually a lot of characters I didn't like, but I don't think it was as much bad character writing as it was ohmigod the labyrinth has turned everyone into loonies that are unlikeable as heck. Plus, they were the people in charge so you can see how lovely that would be. 
  • Connections between people. I do really like complicated and confusing books. However, I do also sometimes appreciate having things explained by the end of the book. There are a lot of characters, maybe too many, that didn't really seem to have a specific purpose in the story. And don't introduce 50 people (it wasn't really 50 but it felt like it) in the first half and then never mention them again afterwards. Like, why?
  • Lastly, the plot dragged on pretty slowly in some parts SPOILER ALERT *like when the main character was learning how to fight for herself in the labyrinth.* Sometimes characters aren't always doing exciting things, I get it. It got pretty repetitive after a while though. 


My Rating:
🌟🌟🌟🌟

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DAY 2: FEEL THE BEAT

I talk more about what this whole challenge is here (basically a daily tumblr challenge) and how I'm trying to use it to get motivation to sketch more. 


Prompt: Post a link to a song that makes you feel happy.

I decided to choose not one but three hehe. The top two encompass more of a feeling than really having awesome lyrics. Tear Me Down is my kick-butt-and-own-the-world anthem. One of my favorite things to do is take a walk with music blasting in my ears and this is the song to power walk to. (The playlist buttons link to their Youtube music videos.)






What are your favorite happy songs? TELL ME.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

DAY 1: HAPPY PLACE

A little while ago, I found a tumblr tag called 31 Days of Self-Care. It involves daily activities that calm you down or cheer you up, all through the month of December. The whole idea is just really original and nice! Aaand the fact that it has a few drawing challenges thrown in there isn't bad either.

This is my first post for this challenge (obviously I'm starting extremely late but I wanted to do it on my own time whenever I could anyway).

Prompt: What’s your happy place? Reply here or illustrate it.




If you decide to do this challenge too, leave a link in the comments because I would LOVE to come check it out. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

21 FACTS OF ADULTING (COLLEGE EDITION)

I'm back from college for winter break! GET HYPE. I'm really excited to watch my favorite shows, read, do my own art projects...sleep maybe. But I'm not here to talk about sleeping, no matter how much I love it. I'm here to bring you all the things I've learned about being an adult. Which are a lot obviously. I'm a pro.






1. Bread molds way too fast. Except for the cheap kind that doesn't really even smell like bread. THAT pretty much lasts forever. 

2. For the first few weeks, college cafeteria food is not as bad as they said, and yet somehow three months later becomes just as bad as they said. 

3. Meat is way too expensive. And complicated. Who has time for seasoning, marinating,... whatever the heck you call it when you have to soften the meat? Isn't meat already soft? If it's not, then doesn't that mean you probably shouldn't try to cook it anyway?

4. Cooking in general takes way too much time. Time you could be using to ignore all your problems or to stress over that test that counts for 30% of your grade.  




5. Paying bills is gross. You lose money (need I say more?), and you have to stay in close contact with other humans for long periods of time in something they call a "line."

6. There are only so many ways to cook bell peppers. Even if they're one of the vegetables that stay good the longest. Find another vegetable.  

7. On that note, remember your vegetables. They're so easy to leave out because you're like well I have my meats, my potatoes, all the filling stuff. I don't need vegetables. Ya need vegetables. 

8. You need to learn how to cook more than the same 2 or 3 recipes that you've used forever. Your taste buds will thank you.

9. Pizza is not something you can possibly get tired of. One, it's delicious. Two, it's SO easy to fix. Hi microwave, meet pizza. 45 seconds. Bam.  




10. The only time you'll want to binge watch something will be when you're not supposed to. 




11. Family invitations are no longer a thing. You get a separate invitation now. Because you're an adult. 

12. Expiration dates are a real and dangerous problem, okay? Milk goes bad in like 1 minute. 

13. This may seem like a no-brainer but: keys, wallet, and phone. Keep them on you at all times. They are key (pun not intended) to your survival. And your student ID card. I probably don't have to tell you this but...don't lose it. 

14. Talking to yourself is not weird. It's not. I'm just alleviating your concern because it will happen. 




15. YOU have to set up doctor's appointments. YOU have to. 

YOU.

16. You should probably not have a living animal with you where you live....or a living plant. You can barely feed yourself most of the time. Don't do it.

17. Your responsibility has increased 100x. You have to make sure you go to class (on time), get your groceries, pay the bills, rent/return textbooks...you're basically your own mom now which is terrifying to say the least. 

18. Google is your best friend.

19. Probably turn on the GPS/location on your phone. That way you can track it down on your computer when you lose it in between the time you leave your room to the time you get to class 15 minutes later because you zoned out.




20. Everyone knows that weather doesn't listen. So you might as well take an umbrella with you wherever you go. Sunny with a high of 95 (Fahrenheit)? Doesn't matter. You should just probably take your umbrella. 

21. You might not feel like you have everything under control, but no one does. Every other college student is trying to learn how to be an adult just as frantically as you. #BluffingGame







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