Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's the end of 2015!!! | December 2015 Wrap-Up


IMAGE FROM THIS MONTH
BLACK FRIDAY BOOK OUTLET HAUL

*This month's wrap-up is unusually sparse because it has taken until halfway through January for me to get my a**  in gear to actually put this together. However, eleven out of twelve months sounds good to me. No matter how much I have abandoned this blog, I will always have a wrap-up, even if it just lists noteworthy things that happened so that I may go back and remember all of the fun, idiotic, hilarious things I have done with my life.*

FUN/NOTEWORTHY THINGS THAT HAPPENED

Hanukkah // Birthday | This year, my birthday was smack dab in the middle of Hanukkah. This is my second Hanukkah since moving to Upstate New York and it was an absolute blast both giving and receiving. I went with my family, Ella, and Ailin out to a fancy winery (no, I did not consume any of the aforementioned wine) and had the best pizza. We hung out reorganizing my bookshelf before that and after dinner went to my favorite ice cream place as well. Overall, this holiday season was such a fun time with family and good cheer all round. My "big" gift for Hanukkah this year was the Fitbit Surge and I have been OBSESSED with tracking my exercise and shaming myself on the days when I sit at home on my computer... not adding to my step count.



Final Cut Pro | My huge generous birthday gift from my family this year was the widely known editing software Final Cut Pro which I am so freaking excited to play around with and learn all of the functions and cool effects that can up the production value of my videos. I won't be using it for the first three months this year as I am abroad without access to my iMac, but as soon as I return, I am so excited to utilize it and learn everything I can. 

 
 Christmas Eve |  While I myself don't celebrate Christmas, I was invited to one of my best friend Nancy's family's Christmas Eve party and had an absolute blast. As you can see, Ella was there, as well one of Nancy's friends I had never met before who I had the pleasure of meeting. The four of us ate so much food, caffeinated beverages, and just chatted. 




Oxford England | If you haven't heard the news over my social media or YouTube Channel, I am living in Oxford England from January to March. My parents are on sabbatical and my sister and I have had somewhat of an extended vacation. We've explored the city, ate a ton of food, and been to Blackwells Bookstore around three times a week (I think that number may have to go up to four in the coming months). My YouTube channel will have a ton of vlogs and cool footage of my experience of living there so you should definitely follow me there.


Black Friday & Holiday Book Haul | I'm not sure how much more I can say other than I think I broke my bank account with the amount of books I have obtained over the past month. I made haul videos for both Black Friday as well as the totally trolling title of "What I Got For Chrismas" which is essentially of the books I was gifted for my birthday, Hanukkah, and a few I bought for myself. Yes, we have established I have no self restraint whatsoever.


Podcast | While I am not yet allowed to disclose what the particular podcast is, I am allowed to say that during the month of December I was contacted by a sort of lifestyle blogger to explain how I balance all of my obligations (self inflicted or otherwise). It was an amazing opportunity and I was so flattered to read the initial email inviting me to take part in the interview. I will most definitely be announcing what the podcast is as well as a link to my episode when  I can share more information 



WHAT DID I READ?


Let's be honest, I just put this category here so I can ramble on about these books. 

I marathoned the Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy in November of 2014 and Walk on Earth a Stranger only solidified my love for her as an author. It was a well developed debut for the series and it was legitimately the Oregon Trail which was the best game ever that ruled my childhood. Lee was such a strong character and of course, Carson made her a feminist, but I loved how she remained true to and actually embraced her femininity despite her need for independence.

I listened to The Rosie Project in one sitting and I can't imagine how much fun the experience was. Our main character has aspergers which greatly impacts his voice and the way the story was told. His perspective was refreshing and the love story one that was completely unexpected, not before enduring every possible obstacle, most of which self inflicted by himself.

The Bookseller is Roald Dahl's adult short story and the hilarious wit featuring adult protagonists was quite a contrast to all of his children's stories. The scam behind the plot was deliciously well thought out and I was on edge the entire time waiting to see where the main character's diabolical plans would take them.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is the second Mary E. Pearson novel I have read and I was intrigued with her debut. The premise was interesting and I love hearing about bioethics and the struggles characters and their authority figures must go through to save their lives and make monumental medical advances. I won't be reading the rest of the series but the first novel was quite an enjoyable time and gave me a lot to think about.

Faking Normal was such a great story of friendship and the intimate bonds between people who help each other cope with the terrible events that happened in their lives. Lexie is forced to interact with her rapist every day and Boddee has to cope with the loss of his mom. The two help each other and remain constants in each others lives despite everything.

FAVORITE VIDEO OF MINE
Without a doubt, this will probably be my all time favorite video I have ever posted. I got my reluctant sister to unbox with me and since we had no idea what these books were about or what was going on in general, it served as an extremely entertaining experience.

SONGS THAT WERE ON REPEAT

I have had Alexi Blue on my wrap-ups time and time again so of course I have to blast it to the world when she has a new original single out. The music video is so empowering and while the sound is pretty mainstream, the message is great.

FAVORITE QUOTES
“My timing is off. But I had to get it out. Some things you have to tell, no matter how stupid they may sound. Some things you can't save for later. There might not be a later. ”
--- The Adoration of Jenna Fox : Mary E. Pearson

“I decide that sometimes definitions are wrong. Even if they're written in a dictionary. Identities aren't always separate and distinct. Sometimes they ARE wrapped up with others. Sometimes, for a few minutes, maybe they can even be shared. And if I am ever fortunate enough to return to Mr. Bender's garden, I wonder if the birds will see that piece of him that is wrapped up in me.”
--- The Adoration of Jenna Fox : Mary E. Pearson

“He's opening a door, but he already knows I won't walk through. The power of Bodee is in the way he reads me, sees through me, and then understands the truth behind the facade. He's the guy who can walk straight through the House of Mirrors on the first try. It's almost annoying. No one should ride tragedy like a pro surfer while I drown.”
--- Faking Normal : Courtney C. Stevens

QUESTION OF THE MONTH
What are you most looking forward to in 2016?

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