Currently Obsessed With: August 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

Let’s took a look at what happened last month!

Crochet/Crafts:

August was a little bit of a crafty month for me!

I made my own Harry Potter wand…and as much as I love Harry Potter, this is my first wand.  It’s not fancy at all, but it did the trick for a Harry Potter party I went to.  I followed this tutorial, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I used knitting needles, because I, for some bizarre reason, have knitting needles.  It makes no sense, considering I don’t knit, but at least I put them to good use.  I ending up making two, because I have no use for two, much less one.

August 2016- HP Wands

I did, however, learn that it’s important to read the directions on the bottles of paint.  When you need a wand for the next day, it’s probably a good idea to NOT BUY PAINT THAT NEEDS 7 DAYS TO AIR CURE.  Because that’s what I ended up doing…and as I didn’t have 7 days, I found myself making a trip to Wal-Mart.  Mostly because by that point, Michael’s was closed and Wal-Mart is open 24 hours.  I definitely made sure I got some fast-drying paint. They turned out pretty well, all things considered.  And now I want to do more crafts.  As much as I love crochet, I think I want to branch out a little.  I’m open to suggestions!

I didn’t do a lot of crocheting last month, mostly because I haven’t been in a crocheting mood.  The only thing I really want to work on is my blanket, and it’s still too hot for that.  Maybe in another month or two, I’ll be able to work on it again.

Books:

I didn’t buy a lot of books this month- just The Beauty Of Darkness, which I also got signed!  I particularly liked this post about the signing event, which goes into a lot more detail about some of the questions she was asked.

Book Signing- The Beauty Of Darkness

As for my Audible pick, I got Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.  I feel like I’ve seen it mentioned before, and I tried reading it in print, but that didn’t work for me, so I figured I’d go for the audio.  I have a feeling it’s going to work better as a audio book for me.

T.V./Movies:

I did not see Suicide Squad, mostly because I somehow forgot, and then when I remembered, I got lazy.  So there was no movie-going in August but maybe I’ll get to see something this month!

I finished Royal Pains, which I really liked.  I also watched Stranger Things in one day, which wasn’t hard, since there’s only 1 season, and it has only 8 episodes.  I kind of want to re-watch it already because it is sooooo good! I also started watching The Ghost Whisperer, because it seemed to be the only thing I was in the mood for.

I also watched the Olympics.  Well, some of it.  Normally, I watch as much of it as I can, but for some reason, I didn’t really do that this year, which is weird for me.

Around The Internet:

I really like this post about periods in YA.

This post about romance as a genre was really nice to read.  Also: historical hangover cures.  It’s an interesting read, and it’s not something I thought about before.

Why YA Needs Quitters.  This blog post makes some really good points.

Why Romance Readers Love Reading Digitally.  I only read romance very sporadically, but I can relate to a lot of the points listed.

The Differences Between Sex & Violence In YA.  I’m not a parent, but I thought it was an interesting post, and there’s a lot that I don’t think about because I’m not a parent.

Speaking of parenting, these picture books would make some great gifts for parents.

Now I want to re-read The Baby-Sitters Club.  It makes me wish I had held onto my old BSC and Sweet Valley books.

I made banana bread!  King Arthur Flour never lets me down.

I wholeheartedly agree with this list of things you should not say to romance readers.

I think quiet/underestimated characters are important, but they get overlooked a lot.

I also have a lot of chicken in the freezer, so I made Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs and Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs. It’s a good thing I like chicken.

Things That Happened In August:

  • The Beauty Of Darkness book signing.  I already mentioned it, but it was fun to go to, and I love hearing authors talk about their book and their writing process.
  • The Harry Potter Party!  There was a lot of Harry Potter-related awesomeness for a while there, and this party was a good way to end it.  It was super-relaxed and super-crafty, and now I have some cool crafts in my room. And there’s nothing like watching Harry Potter with other HP fans.

Things I’m Looking Forward To In September:

  • The people behind Welcome To Night Vale are coming to San Diego to sign the two new Night Vale books!  The scripts from the first couple of years are being released in book form, along with illustrations and behind-the-scenes stuff, and I’m looking forward to going, because I am a huge Night Vale fan.
  • Getting ready for NaNoWriMo.  Which isn’t until November, but I have a few ideas in mind, and I’m not sure what I’m writing yet.  I definitely need to start outlining those projects, and I’m hoping I won’t be too lazy to actually do it.  I might have to go to the library, since I seem to get a lot of work done there.

Music:

  • River by Bishop Briggs.  I cannot stop listening to this song.



  • Castle by Halsey.  This is another one I’ve been listening to a lot.  There’s something haunting about the song.

That’s all for today!  I hope today is a good one for everyone!

Advertisements

Currently Obsessed With: May 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about about my favorite things from the last month!

Currently Obsessed With

May was a really good fun month!  I went to my cousin’s wedding up in Oregon, which I talked about here (and I shared a bunch of pictures too).  And, of course, I had my birthday, and it was pretty nice, even though I didn’t really do anything.  I don’t really get why people freak out about turning 30, because it really wasn’t a big deal to me.  If anyone has thoughts on that, I’d love to hear it, because it seems like people seem to freak out about turning 30 more than any other birthday, and it just confuses me as to why…

Crochet:

It’s been a good month for crochet!  Partially because when I went up to Oregon, I needed something to do in the car, and it was a good chance to work on stuff.  Like a cowl!  I love that it’s bright pink, and it’s pretty warm, but it was hard to do as a capelet.  As it turned out, it was a quite a few inches off in terms of circumference, so while it was good as a cowl, the capelet didn’t quite work.  But I’ll still wear it, and if I make one from this pattern again, I’ll either need a slightly bigger hook, or I need to do more chains to make it work as a capelet/cowl.  I do like it, though, because it’s really simple, and you just keep going until you’re done!

May 2016- Collage

I also started this shawl, and I really like the pattern.  It started off going pretty fast, but now it’s big enough that each row does take a little bit longer.  It’s taking longer than I thought, partially because it’s getting a little bigger, but I also think it’s because I’m using a small hook and a fairly thin yarn.  I’ve never worked with fingering weight before, and I’m still getting used to working with it.  It’s pretty yarn (and squishy, which makes it fun to work with) and I love that’s self-striping.  I’d definitely buy more of the yarn, but next time, I might do something that involves using 2 strands of it.  That could give it an interesting look.

And I’m still working on the blanket.  The yellow is done, and blue is next!  I’m not sure if I’ll keep adding colors after the blue is done, or if I’ll start on the border.  Maybe measuring the blanket is in order…it is big enough to keep me warm and sit under, and it’s going to get really hot soon.  Once that happens (and if it’s not done), it will definitely have to be put aside until it’s cool enough to work on.

Books:

I’ve been busy reading a lot, but I did buy a few books this month too!  I got The Cage by Megan Sheperd, The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson, plus the rest of the books in the Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas. I already had Throne Of Glass, and after reading Crown Of Midnight and Heir Of Fire, I knew I liked them enough to actually buy the e-books.

I also got The Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor from audible.  I also bought Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto from audible.

I’ve read Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, and I’ve tried reading the 2nd book in that series a few times, but always put it on hold because I can’t get into it, so I’m hoping I’ll like the audio book more!  It helps that I really like the narrator they have for the series.

I’ve also been getting audio books from AudioBook Sync, which I did last summer too.  I still haven’t listened to those (I really should get them on my iPod to listen to when I’m driving to work), but I love that they have such a wide range of books.  And I love that they’ve paired classics with newer books.  Some I already have, and there’s a couple I either have on audio already, or it’s one I’ve read, and didn’t like.  But there’s a bunch I haven’t heard of, and I’m looking forward to actually listening to some of them.

T.V./Movies:

I saw Captain America, and I thought it was completely awesome!  I don’t always get to the theaters for the other Marvel movie they do, but the main ones are getting better and better in my opinion…I think this one is my favorite so far!

I also saw X-Men: Apocalypse, and for me, it was entertaining but just okay.  But maybe that’s because the last X-Men movie I saw was the first one- I haven’t seen any of the others until this one, so it stands on it’s own pretty well…but I was probably missing things from the previous movies.

As for t.v., I’ve been catching up on stuff (mostly Nashville and Agents Of Shield since I’ve been way behind on both of them), but it seems like t.v. is winding down until the fall.  At least for me, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll actually start something new this summer.

Around The Internet:

These fish tacos are really good!

I love these diagrams of family trees in Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology.  It makes them seem more clear somehow.

The kitchn has a really good guide to storing tea.  I drink tea, but not the way I drink coffee…but I think it has some pretty good tips.

And on another tea-related note, is loose-leaf tea really better than tea bags?  Which reminds me, I do need to get some more loose-leaf tea.  I have a place here in San Diego, but I’m always looking for more places.

I thought this article about wellness and healthy eating was interesting.

This Jane Austen Bingo makes me wonder how it would work as a drinking game.

I need a reading nook.  These make me want one so bad.

This post about whitewashing in The Hunger Games movies made me think a lot, as did this post about things to keep in mind when talking about books with LGBT characters.  And from The Huffington Post: 4 myths about reverse racism that need to stop.

This post about movie adaptations: a million times yes!

Should we stop worrying about spoilers?  Maybe, but it probably depends on the person.  Either way, this article was a pretty interesting read.

You can find all that and more over on pinterest!

Music:

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done an actual, official playlist, but I’ve been listening to quite a few songs lately, so I figured it was warranted!

Have a great day!

Currently Obsessed With: February 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month!

Currently Obsessed With

February was pretty uneventful…except for finding out that the script for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child was going to be released as a book.  Other than that, not much happened in February.

Crochet:

I started out doing a granny square a week…only to pretty much abandon it last month.  I do want to get back on track with it, though.  And I’ve been working on a granny square blanket for myself, which seems to be going a lot faster than the other blanket I’ve been working on.  I know there’s going to be green (once I’m done with the blue), and I have a multi-colored yarn that has purple, pink, green and blue that I want to use, but I’m not sure if I want to add any other colors.  I think I definitely want to see how big it is once I’m done with the green- I sort of want to use the variegated yarn for a border, so the size of the blanket will probably determine if I keep going with the blanket.

I’m doing a color-blocked thing with the blanket, mostly because I don’t want to change yarn every couple of rows and weave in all of those ends, but I think it’ll look a lot cooler doing one color at a time.  Come to think of it, I’ve always wanted to do a rainbow blanket, so if I keep going, I might do that.  And I’ll definitely have to soften it once I’m done, because I’m using Red Heart Super Saver, and it’s a bit scratchy, so softening it is definitely in order.

Books:

I bought a few books last month!  On my Nook, I got Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie (which I read last year and LOVED), This Raging Light by Estelle Laure, A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas, The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan, Six Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente, and The Boy In The Black Suit by Jason Reynolds.

Books- Feb 2016

I also pre-ordered Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, and I bought Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick, Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz and the Oh She Glows cookbook on a recent trip into Barnes And Noble.  And Night Study by Maria V. Snyder from Audible.  So it quite a month for book buying, but I’ve been pretty good about not buying a lot of books, so, somehow, it felt okay to buy a few. Plus, a lot of them were on sale, so that helped!

T.V./Movies:

Movies: I saw Deadpool, which was an awesome movie!  It was a lot of fun, and there were a lot of funny moments.

T.V.: I’ve been catching up on stuff on Hulu!  I forgot that I had a few random episodes from last year that I never got around to watching, and I didn’t realize that some of my shows had started, so I haven’t watched anything on Netflix lately.

Around The Internet:

I love this post about fiction being unrealistic.

This article about fruits and vegetables and how they taste better in Europe was really interesting.

This blog post defending romance is pretty awesome.

I really liked this post about the damaged girl narrative.

Another blog post I liked was this one about religion in YA.

This article about surrogacy was really interesting.

This book, this one, and also this one aren’t books I would normally go for, but I randomly came across them, and they seem interesting.

I can relate to this post about being proud of being a Hufflepuff.

There is definitely a stigma to doing things alone.  There shouldn’t be.

Diversity In Books: YA needs more diversity, We Need Diverse Books has a post about ways to describe hair, YALSA talks about asexuality in YA, Respiring Thoughts has a great post about diversifying the literary canon, this post about calling a disabled person inspirational was interesting and eye-opening, Reading Brightly talks about why we need more diversity in YA, and Ellen Oh has an awesome post on tumblr.

You can find more cool things I came across over on Pinterest!

Music:

1- Renegades by X Ambassadors.  I love this song right now.

2- Stressed Out by twenty one pilots.  I didn’t like this song at first, but it’s grown on me.

3- Cups from Pitch Perfect.  I don’t know why, but lately, I can’t stop listening to this song.

I think that’s all for today.  Hope you have a great day!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten More Songs That Make Me Think Of Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Ten More Songs That Make Me Think Of Books

I first did Ten Songs That Make Me Think Of Books a couple of years ago, and since the topic for this week is all about music and books, I knew I had to re-visit it!  I have a lot of new favorite songs and I’ve read a lot of books since then, and I’ve wanted to do another post like it, so this week was the perfect time for it.  Here are ten more songs that make me think of books!

1- Renegades by X Ambassadors makes me think of…Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.  The song totally fits what happens in the book!

2- Hello by Adele makes me think of…This Much Is True by Katherine Owen.  I have no explanation for this one, but for some reason, Adele in general makes me think of this book, but this song especially.

3- Walking On A Dream by Empire Of The Sun makes me think of…The Martian by Andy Weir.  I think Mark Watney would love this song.

4- Heartbeat by Carrie Underwood makes me think of…Winter by Marissa Meyer.  Country is a slightly odd choice for such a futuristic book, but it’s sort of perfect for all of the romances in the book, and for some reason, it sums up how I feel about the book.

5- Stressed Out by twenty one pilots makes me think of…How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford.  I feel like this is a song that Bea would love!

6- Cups from Pitch Perfect makes me think of…Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  This song really makes me think of Ridley and Link.

7- 1901 by Phoenix makes me think of…Ink And Bone by Rachel Caine.  This one is another one I don’t have an explanation for, but for some reason, these two seem like a good combination.

8- Wait For Me by Moby makes me think of…Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  The music itself totally fits the collapse of society that we see in the book.

9- Seeing Stars by Borns makes me think of…Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.  I feel like it describes Isla and Josh’s relationship so well.

10- Weathered by Jack Garratt makes me think of…Breaker by Emma Raveling.  This song goes with this book so well.  I feel like it describes Kendra’s journey throughout the series really well but particularly this book.

Currently Obsessed With: January 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

I can’t believe it’s February already!  I’m doing this a lot later than I usually do but I just haven’t wanted to sit down and write this post until now, so here it is!

Crochet:

I’ve been working on another blanket for myself!  It’s going to be a very large granny square when it’s done, and I’ve been randomly working on.  I’m also doing a granny square project where I’m doing one granny square every week, and that’s been fun but interesting!  I may or may not talk more about it at some random point.

Books:

I got a few books last month!  I got When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney, Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, The Big Book Of Granny Squares (all from Barnes & Noble or Amazon) and The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adichie from Audible. I feel like I’m forgetting a book or two, but I’ll mention them next time if I remember what they are!

T.V./Movies:

I finally saw Star Wars last month, and I really liked it!  I really need to see The 5th Wave, which reminds me, I really need to read the book too.  As for t.v., I was watching Dr. Who until it went off of Netflix (which I’m not happy about, because now I need to find another way to watch it), and I watched the first episode of Making A Murder, which I think any fan of Serial would like.  And I’ve re-watched a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls! I’m starting from the pilot, because I feel like I should, even though I could probably start from where I left off…if I could remember where in season 3 I left off.  Or be less lazy and look it up, but that seems like too much effort.

Around The Internet:

Considering the fact that I tend to wear the same few things over and over, a capsule wardrobe might be a good idea for me!

This is super-late and all, but I was so sad to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman.

This is a totally awesome book acknowledgement.

This 11-year-old girl is completely amazing, and she is doing an even more amazing thing.

Someone is doing some really cool self-portraits recreating famous paintings.

You can find these links, and a lot more over on pinterest!

Music:

I’ve been in a music mood the last month!  Here are 5 of my favorites from the last month.

1- That’s My Kind Of Night by Luke Bryan

2- Smoke Break by Carrie Underwood

3- Heartbeat by Carrie Underwood

4- Walking On A Dream by Empire Of The Sun

5- Roses by The Chainsmokers

Hope you had a great day!

Currently Obsessed With: May Happened!

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things and the interesting things I find from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

It’s June!  And we’re almost half-way through the year, which is weird.  It went by really fast.  And speaking of it being June, I had a birthday a few days ago.  I didn’t do much, other than go to the mall and get some lotion from Bath And Body Works ($5 sales are very dangerous, I’m amazed I walked out with a couple of things) and watched part of the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family.  And I made a cinnamon roll cake.  It was yummy!

Crochet:

I’ve been crocheting (of course) and I made a couple of bags.  They’re quite stretchier than I expected, but that’s fine, since I’ve used one to bring in lunch and snacks to work.  I’ve been working on my blanket too, and it’s slowly getting bigger.  It’s long enough to keep half of my legs warm, and right now, it feels like I have so much more to go…and it also feels like I don’t have enough yarn to go.  But I’ll deal with it if it gets to that point, which will be quite a while at the rate I’m going.

Crochet- May 2015 Collage

I’m working on a dishcloth, so I’ll be making a few of those since I have a bunch of cotton yarn that I don’t know what to do with. I did take a look through my stash a week or so ago, and there’s quite a bit of yarn I need to find projects for.  I know I’m not done with the blanket I have, but I am thinking about starting another one, using some yarn I forgot I had, as well as some left-over yarn from other projects.  A blanket seems like a good way to use it up, and it may come out completely ugly, since not all of the colors go together, but I don’t care, as long as I use it up.  Some of the left-over yarn…I’m pretty sure I’ll have to do several color changes in one row, since I have a bunch of yarn that I don’t want to get rid of, but isn’t enough to do anything else with.

Books:

I didn’t get anything in print this month, but I pre-ordered Winter, and got a few assorted e-books: Say Yes To The Marquess by Tessa Dare (if I buy enough romance, maybe I’ll read it?), Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (for book club, and I’m having trouble getting into it, and so I’m very much considering checking out the audio book from the library, because I really think I’ll get through it if I listen to it), Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller, Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld, and UnSouled by Neal Shusterman (all of which I’ve read, and wanted to have a copy of),  and Wildflower by Alecia Whittaker and The Second Mango by Shira Glassman (just because, but really, it’s because they were, like, 1.99 and it’s rare for me to find those sales through B&N for books I don’t have, but I love B&N, so whatever).

I also got Dangerous Deception from audible, and at the very least, I want to re-listen to Dangerous Creatures, because I’ve been on a re-listening kick lately, so after I finish the Parasol Protectorate and Ancillary Justice, I’ll probably move on to that. And go back to Ruby Red, since I’ve had to put it on hold for the second time recently.

T.V./Movies:

I haven’t seen any movies since Age Of Ultron, but I have been watching t.v.!  Of course, I’ve seen all of the finales for the shows I watch, and I’m really curious about where some of them are going to go in the next season (especially Once Upon A Time, I wasn’t expecting that to happen, so I hope everything works out okay).  I don’t really watch a lot of the summer stuff, except for Food Network Star, and I keep meaning to watch So You Think You Can Dance, but I always forget to.  I’m trying something different this summer, in that I’m putting my HuluPlus subscription on hold.  Which is actually pretty awesome, and I don’t really use it during the summer, so I’m trying that out to see how it goes.

On Netflix, I’ve been watching Doctor Who, and I’ve finished the 7 seasons that Netflix has.  It’s fun, and I can’t believe it took me so long to watch it.  My favorite Doctors (from favorite to least favorite) are David Tenant (I wasn’t sure about him at first, but I really liked him), Christopher Eccleston and Matt Smith.  I know there’s another Doctor after Smith, but I’m not there yet, so I don’t where he’d fit in.  And as for the Companions, (favorite to least favorite), Rose is awesome, Donna is hysterical, the Ponds were pretty cool, and Clara (who’s not memorable to me, even though I just finished a season with her in it) and Martha (who seemed really boring and didn’t have much of a personality) were tied for least favorite.

I’m trying to figure out what to watch next, but I think I want to finish Breaking Bad, and after that, I might watch Sons Of Anarchy. I’ve been wanting to re-watch Gray’s Anatomy from the beginning, just to see how much the show has changed.  (I have watched season 1, and maybe I’ll randomly watch episodes).  And I’ve pretty much abandoned my Gilmore Girls re-watch, and I saw it in my Netflix queue the other day, and that reminded me that I pretty much abandoned it.  I should start watching it again, maybe after Breaking Bad and Sons Of Anarchy so I can actually feel like I’m focusing on it properly?  I am definitely not going to make promises, though, because I feel like I’ve said I’m going back to it and never do, and if I am going to start watching it again, I actually want to make sure I’m actually going to do it.

Around The Internet:

You can check out everything on Pinterest.  Which, by the way, I started adding the date in the pin description so I actually have an idea about when I’m pinning stuff.

It rained spiders in Australia.  I’m terrified of spiders, so I’m glad I wasn’t there for that.  It’s an interesting article, and if it had to be somewhere, Australia is where I can picture it happening.

This is an interesting map about the most popular book set in each state.

This story about a student-athlete who committed suicide was heart-breaking.  You never know what people are going through.

I loved this post about ballet and race.  (I totally want to read Tiny Pretty Things, by the way.  It looks amazing).

11 Icelandic Words And Phrases- my favorite is On With The Butter.

This post about the One Woman In Serious Literature is hysterical.  I totally want to know what books inspired this post.  And it brings up why I dislike so much the “strong, independent woman.”  It totally conjures up a certain type of character that irritates me immensely, and this post pokes at the that.  (I couldn’t pin it to pinterest, unfortunately, so you won’t find it there).

Music:

I haven’t been listening to a lot of music over the last month, but I do love these songs.

  • Riot by Sara Haze.  I believe it’s a cover of the Rascal Flatts song (which I haven’t heard), but I love her version of it, and it totally sounds like a song she would write.

  • See You Again by Charlie Puth & Wiz Khalifa.  It totally makes me want to cry every time I hear it.

  • Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon.  It’s a fun song!

  • Geronimo by Sheppard.  Like Shut Up And Dance, it’s a fun song.

Happy June!

Currently Obsessed With: April 2015

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

April was super-boring for me, and I am bummed I found out about YALL West after it happened.  I’m totally going next year (assuming it is happening next year, and that it’s in Southern California).  And I didn’t go to the LA Times Festival Of Books, because I wasn’t really interested in any of the panels or speakers enough to go up, and I didn’t really want to go up for just walking around yet.

I also got my hair cut, and I’ve been really lazy about taking a picture of it.  Maybe I’ll actually get around to that this month.

Nails/Beauty:

I don’t know why I have this one as its own section, since this one is going to be its own post from now on. Habit, probably, but you can check out that post here.

Crochet:

I’ve been crocheting!  It seems like lately, I’ve only been crocheting when I was at my knitting/crochet group, because that was the only time I could muster up enough energy to actually crochet anything.  But last month, I made a hat, started on a bag, and I worked on a blanket I started last year.

It’s been too warm the last few days to work on the blanket, but I’m hoping it cools down enough that I can work on it at least a little.  It’s not that long yet, so I’m still at a point where I can still work on it when it’s really warm outside, but it is just long enough that it does keep me warm.

Books:

I got a few books this month.  I’ve been trying not to buy books, because I have so many I haven’t read, and I’m trying to read some of them before I buy more books.  It’s actually working pretty well, and if/when I buy books, it’s probably going to be books super-on-sale or ones I absolutely need to read right away.

Books- April 2015

Anyway, I got Burn Out, ACID, & Control from Mysterious Galaxy.  I’ve only been there for random book signings, and I keep meaning to go back to actually shop but never manage to, which is weird, because it’s a genre bookstore, and totally my kind of bookstore.  But I had to drive up to Escondido for a week, and I was like, I can sit in traffic for over an hour, or I can do something fun and wait it out, so I opted for waiting it out and doing something fun, because that totally made more sense.  And since I had to pass the exit for Mysterious Galaxy, it made perfect sense for me to stop by.

I also got a couple of crochet books (not pictured, but maybe next month) from the totally awesome Heather and Mike and I’m really looking forward to making new things!  And my Audible pick is Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet by Jamie Ford, which I’m excited about listening to. I feel like I say that a lot, but it’s true, even though I’m completely horrible at listening to audio books.  And I’ve resolved to listen to them more.  I think things have calmed down enough that I’m actually able to focus on them, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be listening to more soon!

T.V./Movies:

I saw Age Of Ultron yesterday, and it was so much fun!  There was a pretty good crowd, but I was expecting more of one…but then again, it’s the benefit of going to a theater that’s not super busy.  And if I’m going to watch something like Age Of Ultron, it’s going to be opening weekend, when there’s a ton of people, because it’s always fun to sit in a crowded theater for something like that.  At least for me, but I totally get why people avoid theaters on opening weekend.  You know how Marvel always has 2 scenes, one a little bit into the credits, and one that’s post credits?  Leave once you see the mid-credits one, because that’s the only one.

I’ve been watching Dr Who (finally!).  I love Rose, and Eccleston was pretty aweome, but I don’t know how I feel about Tennant yet.  I’m about to start season 3, so maybe he’ll grow on me?  I am sad about Rose going, but it makes sense that the companions would change.  And for some weird reason I cannot explain, I totally imagined Daleks as Ewok-type creatures.

And I wasn’t that surprised by a recent event in Gray’s Anatomy.  I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but I had a feeling it was going to happening when that episode started, so I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be.  But I was a sobbing mess after the episode last week.

Around The Internet:

I came across some fascinating and fun stuff this month.  You can check out everything over on Pinterest.

I love this post about Humans Of New York and a girl named Beyonce.  Humans Of New York is fascinating, I could spend hours looking at it.

Only a related note, Taking Back Detroit is equally interesting and worth checking out.

I love this interview with Laurie Halse Anderson and Courtney Summers.

This Buzzfeed quiz guessing your age based on your taste in books was a lot of fun, and totally spot-on for me.

And I love love love this post over at The Library Canary that’s an open letter to her YA self.  I love things like this.

Music:

I’ve been listening to a few things, but I’ve been listening to the band Joseph a lot.  On repeat, over and over, and I can’t stop listening.  I first heard about them on The Grapes Of Rad a while back, and they are a really talented group of sisters.  I know they’re on tour, and I think they’re coming to San Diego, which, if they are, I really need to get tickets to see them.  Seriously, check them out, I think they’re pretty awesome.

Happy Sunday and have an awesome May!

Currently Obsessed With: February Was Exhausting

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

February was pretty exhausting!  For most the month, I went to bed super-early, but a lot of days, I was ready for bed when I got home at 5:30!  And yet, while tired, I found myself with not a lot energy, but not actually able to go to bed that early.

Nails/Beauty:

I had a lot to talk about with nail polish, so check out this post if you want to know more!  I really am glad I set this different color a week project for myself, because it’s actually getting me to go through my nail polish and wear a lot of different colors. There are so many I kind of forgot I had.  It’s sad, but I’m also glad I’m starting to wear some of the older ones.

Crochet:

I did some crocheting, but not a lot.  For work one day, we had to wear red, and instead buying something red, I decided to make something instead, especially since I have some red yarn to use.  I was going to do a scarf, but as usual, I didn’t give myself enough time to make it, so I went with a hat instead.  I do have a red-orange scarf I’m working on, and I do want to start something red soon so I’ll have something red for both Valentine’s and Christmas.

Crochet- Feb 2015 Collage

I also finished the Leprechaun beanie I was working on- well, the hat.  There’s still a yellow buckle I need to do, but I think it’s slightly too big.  I’m horrible at sizing beanies for myself, but I do have a green beret, so I’m not too worried if I don’t get something else done in time.

Books:

Much like crochet, I haven’t been in much of a reading mood, but I did get some books in February!  From Audible, I got Shadow Study, which is the newest book in the Study Series by Maria Snyder!  I didn’t even know the series was continuing until I saw it up as a recommendation when I randomly went to Audible recently, so I got that one.  I also bought Fledgling by Octavia Butler, which I’m excited about listening to.

Books- Feb 2015

I also bought a couple of books!  I bought Banana: The Fate Of The Fruit That Changed The World by Dan Koeppel and The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey.  I’m really excited about the Dan Koeppel one- I know it sounds weird but it also looks really interesting!  I’m also intrigued by The Secret Rooms, which is about this room that was sealed up by this one British Duke back in the 1940’s, and how the author got into the room to read everything.

T.V.:

I’ve been watching it!  Well, falling asleep and then having to catch up would be much more accurate of a statement.  Sleepy Hollow and How To Get Away With Murder are done for the season!  I hope Sleepy Hollow comes back for a third season, and I was quite surprised with the last few minutes!  If it doesn’t, I am glad with how everything was wrapped up, but if it does…let’s just say I’m interested in what happens next!  Same with How To Get Away With Murder, although we know it’s coming back. I can’t wait to see what happens next season because I have so many questions.

I also watched the Oscars, and I really loved a lot of the speeches.  I liked a couple of the performances for best song- Everything Is Awesome was fun, and Rita Ora did awesome, as Common and John Legend.  And Lady Gaga was fantastic!  I don’t know why I was so surprised by how talented she is.  They seemed more boring/longer than they normally do, and I liked the opening number that Neil Patrick Harris did but overall, he wasn’t one of my favorite hosts.  Plus, it was the first time in a while since I’ve seen only one of the best animated movies, and I kind of wish I had seen the rest of the ones nominated.

Around The Internet:

I don’t have a lot this month, because trying to get anything onto Pinterest (and saving posts) has been a pain!  Most of what I’m sharing is before it went all wonky.  I really like bloglovin’, but I’m so frustrated with some changes they’ve made recently that I’m currently looking at new blog feed readers.  If anyone knows of a good one that will let me save and share posts, share it in the comments!

The Guardian created a sorting hat quiz, and I got Hufflepuff, which wasn’t a surprise…but I will say that it’s super easy to get the house you want.  The reason why I love the Pottermore sorting hat quiz is because it’s super-random and you really can’t figure out which answers go with which house.

The Guardian also has an interesting post about why reading classics are important.

This is a great blog post about plot and how to write about it in reviews.  The Point Of View post is also awesome.  I’m totally looking forward to reading all of the posts in this series.

I really want to try Center Double Crochet.

What does everyone think of this video of important moments in Snape’s life?  It’s interesting to see them in chronological order, especially since we don’t get them that way in the book.

I totally got Anne Of Green Gables in this Buzzfeed quiz, and I think it fits me perfectly!

I love how Neil Gaiman responded to this question about the number of copies 50 Shades has sold- basically, don’t worry about it was his answer.  Totally not what I expected it, but it’s such a great answer.

And this post about how to forgive people who have hurt you (including yourself!) is amazing.

Music:

I LOVE Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding!  It’s definitely one of my favorite song this month, and in my quest to find the song, I ended up buying the entire 50 Shades soundtrack.  I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, so I have no opinion on either, but the soundtrack is actually really good!  Last month, I listened to Taylor Swift on repeat, this time it’s the soundtrack to 50 Shades Of Grey.

I also really like Undiscovered by Laura Welsh and Earned It by The Weeknd.  I could do without the remix of Crazy In Love, which I skip every time it pops up, and it’s the only one I don’t like.  I love the song, just not this remix.  Not all of the songs were available on Spotify, but I love that Annie Lennox and Frank Sinatra were on the soundtrack (I Put A Spell On You and Witchcraft are great songs!)

Have a happy week!

Currently Obsessed With: January Has Passed

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Nails/Beauty:

Yet again, I opted out of the Julep Maven box for January (but I did get February’s box!).  Instead, I have pictures of the polish I’ve worn for the last month, since one of my goals for the year is to wear a different color every week, with no repeats allowed.

Nail Polish Project- January 2015 Collage

I really liked the SpaRitual one, and it makes me think of oceans and mermaids and (randomly) Elsa from Frozen.  I did notice it was thin, and needed 2 coats for more even coverage, but overall, I think it might be my favorite I’ve worn this month. But Octavia and Into The Night are pretty.  And I used a matte top coat for Into The Night- although I wished I had thought of at least one nail just on its own, but it’s basically what you see in the picture but not matte.  As for Catrina…I didn’t really like it.  I mean, yellow is an awesome color, but this shade didn’t work for me.  I think I’m much too pale to wear it.

I also need to take pictures same day or within a day or two of doing my nails.  Clearly, there were a couple weeks when I was feeling too lazy to take a picture, given there were some chipped nails.  But perfectly polished nails can be over-rated.  Let’s be real, with the cooking and hand-washing I do throughout the day, my nails get chipped.

Crochet:

I’ve been crocheting up a storm!  Remember that super-secret project I was working on?  I can talk about it now!

Crochet- January 2015 Blanket Collage

I made a baby blanket for my cousin, and it turned out well!  Except for the part where I got half done, realized it was super-crooked to the point that nothing would make it more straight, and had to re-do half of it.  I am amazed of the magic that borders work, which straightened it out to the point that I think only I would notice.  It turned out so well, and I loved the blue.  Also: the grey was great, and I’m glad I picked grey instead of the sandstone the pattern recommended.  I do wish the white was a brighter white, because I think the blue and grey would stand out more, but the softer white is a cozy baby blanket kind of white.  Plus, the white was a pound of white, and the last thing I need is more white yarn.

I took a little bit of a crochet break, because I was feeling burnt out after making a baby blanket, but now I’m back to crocheting!  I’m doing a ton of smaller projects, because my brain and my hands cannot handle something bigger.  So a blanket I started almost a year ago is on hold again.

Crochet- January 2015 Project Collage

I’ve made a couple of cowls- one in Hufflepuff colors (black and yellow) and a grey/variegated yarn.  I like both, but the grey/multi-colored yarn is really pretty!  Why is grey + color so awesome?  Seriously, it is.  I have no idea how I managed to twist the multi-colored- it seemed to happen somewhere in the making of it, and not in the chain.  Either way, I love the colors.  I also started on a hat for St. Patrick’s Day (which reminds me that I need to start on something for Valentine’s Day), and it’s the unfinished green thing you see in the middle.

Books:

I’m trying really hard to not buy books, because I have so many books that I haven’t even read yet!  It didn’t completely work, because I did get some e-books- California by Edan Lepucki, Grounded by G.P. Ching, Love Is The Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson and Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, plus I pre-ordered Breaker by Emma Raveling.  Still, because I have a tendency to buy books only to not read them, I’ve decided to not buy a ton of books this year.  I can’t do a complete book ban, but I definitely want to reserve buying books that I know I am genuinely excited about and know I’ll read right away.  Or if I’m going to a book signing.  Like in March, when Gail Carriger is doing a book signing here in San Diego!  I am super-excited about that.  As for audible, I got Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres, and I’ve been interested in reading it ever since I read a book by the same author about Jonestown.

TV:

I haven’t really watched much t.v. this month.  For the most part, I’m randomly watching stuff on Hulu as it comes up, and there’s only a handful of things I’m keeping up with right now.  I’ve been watching the currently airing season of Downton Abbey, which I’m so going to have to re-watch, because I’m somewhere in season 2, and I’m sort of confused about what’s going on, and yet I still want to watch it.  And I’ve been watching NCIS and Sleepy Hollow and American Horror Story because I know they’re on.

I just really dislike the t.v. season once Christmas is over, because it feels like 1 or 2 weeks of new episodes followed by, like, 3 weeks of re-runs.  It’s annoying, and makes me not want to watch t.v, since it feels like everything is on at the most random times.

Around The Internet:

So many things!  Check out my pinterest board for everything I’ve pinned- although it is annoying when I want to pin something, and can’t because there’s no picture.  Thankfully, it’s not often, but I may have to bookmark those and share them.

Still, I liked that there’s this guy that took pictures of what people were reading on the subway.

If I were a children’s book, it would be Everyone Poops.  Here’s what this says about me, taken directly from the quiz: You’re the cynical one with a sarcastic sense of humor. You always keep it real, even if it grosses people out. You’re basically a star. This is definitely an amusing quiz.*

*I am definitely not cynical, and while I try to keep it real, I don’t do it to the point of grossing people out…I hope.  As for the sarcastic sense of humor, let’s just say that my nickname is Snark Ninja for a reason.

Time’s 100 Best YA Novels is a slideshow, as is their 100 Best Children’s Books.  (If you want a non-slideshow version, the two links below have it in list form, although if you google it, I’m sure you’d find a list with no problem).  I’m generally not critical of these kinds of lists, but these 2 have left me with so many questions and thoughts.  Their definition of children’s books seems oddly specific while YA is very vague and broad, and how they apply it is super-inconsistent.  Some series get one entry, while other series have multiple entries.  Some authors get several books, while others only get one.  Basically, I want to know more about the selection process.

And one final thing, since my mini-rant is over: an interesting article about how diversity isn’t reflected on the Times’ Best Of YA list, with a focus on how Native Americans are portrayed in some of the books on the list.  She also has one for the Children’s list.  It’s interesting to think about (especially for me, because it’s not something I’ve HAD to think about).

Music:

I finally got 1989, which, for those who don’t know, is the new Taylor Swift album.  I’m super-late to that album, but I’ve been listening to it on repeat for days.  Days, I tell you!  I rarely buy full albums for actual artists- usually full albums are soundtracks, but given how much I love Blank Space and Shake It Off…and the tail end of her new single, I knew I had to get it.

It’s Taylor Swift, but more subtle.  Any song would do well as a single.  I have my favorites (Style, Out Of The Woods, Bad Blood and Wildest Dreams) but I honestly can (and have) listened to the entire album over and over and over.  And I’m still not sick of it.  It really is her best album yet…but if you hate that Taylor Swift has gone pop, and thought she was better when she was country (I know you’re out there), you really need to give it a chance!

Other than Taylor Swift, I haven’t really listened to a lot of music.  I hate the remix of Hanging Tree that’s randomly been playing on the radio.  Can we stop remixing songs just because we can?  Because if there’s a song that shouldn’t be remixed, it is that song.

I am leaving you with Take Me To Church by Hozier.  I so need the entire album, especially if it’s anything like this song.

Happy February!

Currently Obsessed With: The Final Look Back At 2014

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month but sometimes more feature where I talk about everything I’m into and everything going on in my life.

Instead doing a Currently Obsessed With post just for December, I thought it would be fun to do a year-end one!  It’s been quite a year for me.  Getting a new car is the biggest thing that happened this year (but getting it as a result of a totaled car was not fun) and finding out that my job went from temporary to permanent was also great.  Winning NaNo and realizing that I wanted to re-write was great, but spraining your ankle is not, especially when it means you don’t write anything.  You’d think not moving or being able to walk normally would be good for your word count, except for I kept getting distracted by Netflix and Hulu and the internet.

Nails & Beauty:

I’ve shared quite a few Julep Maven Boxes this year, and I really love getting them!  I’ve opted out for the last couple of months, because I haven’t been super interested in the colors they’ve had.  They’ve been colors I’m not interested in wearing because they’re not my style, and the ones I do like are way too similar to colors I already have, and I don’t need 3 variations of eggplant or navy blue.  I am really glad I upgraded to the customizable box, which is great when I don’t like a color, and want to switch to something I will wear. Obviously, it’s not helpful when I don’t like any of the colors.  But it’s still worth it.

Crochet:

I’ve crocheted quite a bit this year!  Like, I started a blanket that I would go on to abandon once it got crazy hot.  I did pick it back up again on Christmas, but it’s going to be put on hold while I finish up this one project- I believe I mentioned a super-secret crochet project that I will be finished with this month, and then I’ll actually be able to talk about it!

I crocheted a small bird, a Christmas ball coaster turned ornament, and a couple of scarves!  They were all Christmas presents- two for friends (the bird and one scarf, in plum), one for my grandma (the Christmas ball coaster ornament) and for a Secret Santa at work (the other scarf but in blue).

Crochet- December 2014 Collage

About that coaster ornament I came across this really cool pattern for Christmas coasters, and made one for my grandma.   I did feel like looking for cotton yarn, so I used some acrylic, and found that it would be a great ornament, since you have to make a chain so you can hang it on a hook.  It ended up being too big for an ornament, so if I decide to do it as an ornament again, I’ll definitely make it a round or two smaller.

Click here if you want the crochet bird pattern and here for the scarf pattern I used.

I also got a couple of really awesome crochet gifts, and they really are my favorite gifts that I got this year. Golden Snitch slippers and a Hufflepuff Ninja Scarf!  (My nickname is Snark Ninja, and since one end of the scarf had a lot of yellow, my one friend decided the other end needed a lot of black, which is quite ninja-like, hence a Hufflepuff Ninja scarf).

Books:

I have covered general year-end book stuff over the last few weeks: Top 10 New-To-Me Authors, Top 13 Favorite Books, Top 10 Resolutions, which is both bookish and non-bookish, I looked back at the resolutions I made a year ago, and the 2014 End-Of-Year Book Survey.

But there are still a few things I wanted to talk about!

I really want to read more diversely this year (I’ll totally be talking about that at some point in the next couple of weeks), and I used my audible credit to get 2 books- yay for 2 books for 1 credit sales!  I got Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Reading Lolita In Tehran by Azar Nafisi.  I have a couple of Adichie’s book on my TBR, and when I saw Americanah, during Audible’s 2-for-1 sale, I knew I had to get it.  Same thing for Reading Lolita In Tehran, which I’ve wanted to read for a while.  I’m actually glad I checked out the sale, because I found a couple of interesting books.

I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas, and that went towards some Kindle books!  I do have the Kindle app, but I don’t use it often.  Mostly for ARC’s, because for some reason, it’s a pain to get them onto the Nook tablet, and I’m way too lazy to figure it out.

Anyway, here’s what I got:

  • What If by Rebecca Donovan
  • Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
  • As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka
  • Out Of Shadows by Jason Wallace
  • Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross.

And one final thing: Pottermore!  I was originally a beta tester when it first opened, but I went away from it for a really long time before coming back to it a few months ago.  I had quite a bit to get through, which was nice.  But I’ve been really disappointed with Order Of The Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince.  Given how big these 2 books are, there hasn’t been a lot of moments or new information, and it’s disappointing.

It does feel rushed to me, even though I know a lot of work has to go into illustrating the moments, and picking them, and adding in sound and the narration and everything.  I’m hoping that at some point, more things will be added to these two books, and that there are more moments in Deathly Hallows.  It seems unlikely but I’m still hopeful.

Book Stats:

I have yet to do a full break-down, but it’s always fun to do this.  I have some general numbers, plus it’s broken down by source, format and rating.

Basics:

Books Read: 140

Average Read Per Month: 11.67

Average Rating For All Books Read: 3.51

Source:

Own: 99

Borrowed: 3

Library: 1

ARC’s (through Netgalley or the publisher): 37 total (28 through netgalley, 9 directly from the publisher)

Format:

E-books: 117

Audio: 16

Print: 7

Rating:

0 Stars/DNF: 10

1 Star: 1

2 Stars: 12

3 Stars: 53

4 Stars: 58

5 Stars: 16

TV:

I’ve watched a lot of t.v. over the last year!  Once Upon A Time is a favorite, as is Gray’s Anatomy and Scandal. New favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Heart Of Dixie, and The 100.  I’ve been watching Breaking Bad again, and I’m going to start up with Downton Abbey.  And hopefully, I’ll start doing my Gilmore Girls recaps again.  I am sad about the death of Edward Herrmann (and the others we’ve lost this year, like Maya Angelou, Joan Rivers and Robin Williams, amongst others).

Movies:

I’ve seen quite a few movies this year, and here are some of my favorites.

Animated:

  • Frozen
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2

Comics:

  • Captain America 2
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy

Movie adaptations:

  • Divergent made me love Four and Tris even more
  • Mockingjay, Part 1- I really liked that it focused on the characters
  • The Giver, which made me think of the book in a different way
  • If I Stay, which I liked but not as much as I thought
  • The Fault In Our Stars…it took me a good day to recover from all the crying

Also: I love that ABC Family has the occasional Harry Potter Marathon Weekend, which is what I did last weekend.  I watched Deathly Hallows, Part 2 for the first time since I saw it in theaters.  It’s so weird, because I can’t bring myself to watch it on DVD, because I feel like if I do, then the series is really, truly over.  I know it makes no sense whatsoever, since both books and movies have been over for several years now, but…that’s still my general feeling.  T.V. is perfectly fine for some reason, but I just can’t bring myself to watch it on DVD.

Around The Internet:

I’ve shared quite a few great articles throughout the year.  I’ve decided not to share any this month, but I did finally start a Pinterest board for all of them, which you can check out here.  I bookmark so many things, and I knew there had to be an easier way to keep everything in one place.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier.

My Favorite Things To Listen To:

Albums:

  • Frozen Soundtrack: I’m still listening to it.  A lot.
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy, Awesome Mix, Volume 1: It’s so much fun to listen to, and they did a great job with this soundtrack.
  • Divergent Soundtrack: Still listening to it months later.  It’s a favorite.
  • Shatter Me by Lindsay Stirling.  I am such a huge fan, and I can listen to Shatter Me over and over again.
  • Red by The Dallas String Quartet.  I love that it’s covers played on string instruments.  They are so good!

Songs:

  • Interception from Beautiful Creatures
  • Dark Horse by Katy Perry
  • Sleeping With A Friend by The Neon Trees
  • Ain’t It Fun by Paramore
  • I Will Be There by Odessa

One Podcast Recommendation:

  • Serial, which is now over.  I’m actually glad I started listening at what would be the last couple of episodes, since I got to listen to most of it at once.  But at the same time, I kind of wish I had more time with it.  At least I’ll get to listen to season 2 as it comes out.  Is anyone else listening to Serial?  If you haven’t, I seriously recommend it.