Wrap Up: December 2017

You know, holidays aren’t really holidays for me. I feel like I get really unproductive when I get super busy on the holidays. But hey, at least there are pictures! Lots and lots of pictures. And it was fun, if not too relaxing…

Books Read

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler || The Richest Woman in America: The Life and Times of Hetty Green by Janet Wallach || The Immortal Nicholas by Glenn Beck

Currently Reading

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch || The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling || Ghost Slayer by Majanka Verstraete || Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Writing

Well. So a couple of authors and I are actually going to be promoting our stories at a bookstore in Massachusetts. This’ll be happening late January, which is pretty cool. Which reminds me…I probably need to send info down to the bookstore…

Movies and TV

Lots of period dramas in December! I think once I started bingeing the second season of The Crown, I just wanted to watch even more stuff on the British royalty. So that happened.

Also, The Last Jedi rocked. And now I want a porg, a BB-8, and a Skywalker. Either twin will do.

The Young Victoria || Star Wars: The Last Jedi || Ghostbusters || 8 Mile || The Office || The Crown, Season 2 || The White Princess || Zumbo’s Just Desserts

Video Games

Horizon Zero Dawn – So I started playing this and didn’t get very far, mostly because I got the Nintendo Switch for Christmas. So…

Super Mario Odyssey – This game happened. And ohhhh boy. It’s very addicting, and I actually love it lots. I managed to finish it the week after Christmas. And even then I’m still trying to collect the rest of the moons.

Overcooked – This game requires a shitton of teamwork. But it does get addicting when you have three other people playing with you, and you just want to keep acing all the levels. We must have played a good three or four hours before we realized we needed to stop and do other things.

Mario Kart Racing – The breaker of friendships and the spiking of high blood pressure. And yet it’s still a family favorite.

Fooding

I actually didn’t do much cooking/baking in December. I mean, there were the standard baking goodies and the toffee, but that wasn’t too much to handle. Oh, and I suppose I also made apple cookies, but those were part of an order, which seems to be a hit, because I’ve got another batch to make this week. To be honest, I did more drink-mixing over the month than anything else!

Turon || White wine sangria || Raisin bread || Bioshock “Plasmid” cocktail || Brenner burger || Peppermint bark || Mojito || Churro waffle

I do have plans for book-inspired baking, but it’ll be a while yet! I cannot wait for the summer, really.

I hope you guys had a great holiday too!

Advertisements

Wrap Up: November 2017

We’re almost halfway through December but this wrap-up still totally counts, right?

I’m making it count.

You’d think it being November that the main reason I disappeared was because I participated in NaNoWriMo. While that was the case, frankly, I didn’t even finish that. Too much baking had to get done over the month, and clearly there was also the matter of report cards to deal with. Sigh. Is it July yet?

This will be a pretty short wrap-up, looks like.

Books Read

Been on a rut lately, and I’ve yet to get out of it. I am reading something that might possibly get me out, though finding the time to read is another matter entirely.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux || Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey || Superman: The High-Flying History of the Man of Steel by Larry Tye

Currently Reading

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling || The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden || Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza || Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Writing

No. Go away.

Movies and TV

I’ve done a TV binge for the most part. Mostly of baking and sweets stuff. Don’t think I’ll continue on with Zumbo’s Just Desserts though. It’s a little over the top and my mouth aches from all the overly-sweet pastries I’m staring at. Finished the second season of Stranger Things, and omgaaaaah. So. GOOD.

Also watched a lovely French film called Peau d’Ane (1970). I totally recommend it. And you can actually listen to a podcast review of the movie in Meg and my Fableulous Retellings blog.

Titan A.E. || The Prince of Egypt || Peau d’Ane || Monty Python and the Holy Grail || iZombie season 3 || Stranger Things season 2 || Zumbo’s Just Desserts season 1 || The Great British Baking Show season 3

Video Games

The Wolf Among Us – Because for research purposes. Um. No, really, though, I played this for the Fableulous Retellings Podcast, and no regrets!

Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze – Totally found this gem on my Android and already finished the first two episodes. When’s the next one being released?! Seriously, love everything Miss Fisher. So long as the series also has a Jack Robinson. And a Dot. And a Mac. Yep.

I’ve also been playing random apps on my phone, but I won’t go crazy describing which. Suffice to say I tend to get sidetracked a lot…

Fooding

As I said, a lot of baking happened. I baked for my school voldies, I baked for two sets of Thanksgiving dinners, I baked for school staff. I also ate random foods and cooked random foods. Too much, I tell ya. Too much.

Sliced fruits over a sugar cookie || Cheese ravioli with homemade marinara sauce || Lychee mochi and lychee-infused gelatin || Apple cupcakes || Apple scones || Assorted Japanese cookies || Mashed potatoes || Pecan pie

I really need to get back to book-inspired baking at some point.

Okay, now I’m hungry. Running off!

Wrap Up: October 2017

Bogged. Down. So. Much.

There’s something about the last three months of the year that makes them the busiest months for most people. I’m definitely one of those people, what with work, birthday and holiday bakes, and other overall antics I get up to in the upcoming months. Busyness is not necessarily a bad thing, but mahgoh, can I just sit down for a day and binge-watch Stranger Things or something? (Answer: NOPE).

Books Read

Yeaaah. I’ve more or less taken a ton of pictures of books, but did I really read much this month? Nope. I might have gotten through two audiobooks and one graphic novel, that’s just about it. Maybe it’s a reading funk, or lack of time, maybe both.

Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott || Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg || Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale

Currently Reading

*snort* On top of a reading funk, I’ve clearly also got reading ADD, because I’ve picked up a couple books and audiobooks and switched to a different one altogether. I find that even audiobooks haven’t been as riveting lately, which is probably why I’ve been ping-ponging between Empress and Burning.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch || Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza || The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas || Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Writing

Whoever thought it was a good idea for me to join up NaNoWriMo… *shudders*

And yet here we are.

Movies and TV

Most of these are pretty much rewatches. Other than a random episode of The Office and quite possibly It (not pictured), I haven’t seen anything new besides the most recent season of Stranger Things.

Today’s Special || No Reservations || Miss Congeniality || Much Ado About Nothing || iZombie Season 2 || Leverage || The Office Season 1 || Stranger Things Season 2

Video Games

Hahahahaha–what’s that?! *sobs inwardly*

I miss playing video games…

Fooding

October was a baking month for me, largely because both my siblings are October babies and there were a lot of apples to bake away. There are still a lot of apples to bake, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I’ll probably write about a few of these at some point. Or not.

Meat pie || Dark chocolate and matcha cake shaped like an Oreo || Texas Roadhouse nummyness || Bibimbap in a hot stone bowl || Sliced mango (for mango puree) || Unicorn-themed mango mirror glaze cake || Apple bread || Apple Danish

Miscellany

Paint Night #2 came off rather well! That said, I thought drawing the dragon was much harder than having to create a scenery. Mostly because it’s so specific, and outlining was kind of a bitch to do. That said, I had fun!

My sister ended up getting a surprise party during the month, and with my bestie in tow, we ended up throwing her a unicorn-themed party. Balloons and cake and unicorn horns in all. Needless to say she was definitely surprised.

My friend and I met Tamora Pierce!!!!!!! Yes. Extra exclamation points considering how exciting this is because um, Pierce is ONLY my favorite author EVER. So. Yeah. I MET TAMORA PIERCE!!!!!!!

Nerdy News

I’m so behind on The Walking Dead at this point, but I’ll so read this new series by Robert Kirkman. Looks like another post-apocalyptic piece, though.

Honestly, I’m not sure how well it’ll translate to the stage when a lot of the beauty of Pushing Daisies was through quirky art direction and fantastic use of a film editing room. Buuuuut…I’d so watch the eff out of a possible musical. Caveat: Kristin Chenoweth STILL has to play Olive.

Life is like a hurricane… *hums* Oh, uh, I just like that Doctor-Donna are back together again! XD

Err…I don’t understand what their purpose is in rebooting a Nancy Drew series when it’s…not really about Nancy Drew but the author of the series?

I’m still a little upset that one of the most interesting subplots of Mass Effect: Andromeda is being turned into a tie-in novel. I mean, yeah, I like reading books, but dammit, I want to SEE the drells and quarians in action, not read about them! Friggin’…okay, let me not go there again with an ME:A rant.

With Game of Thrones ending next year, I cannot wait to drop myself into the Kingkiller Chronicles universe. That said, whyyyyy do these people insist on working on series that aren’t finished?!

Wrap Up: September 2017

What? September where’d you go?! Seriously, though, one minute I was gallivanting across Pennsylvania with a couple of friends and suddenly it’s the end of the first month of school and I’m wondering where it all went. Can’t say I’m sad to see September go. One month down, 9 more to go, school-wise, amiright?

Sigh.

Books Read

It was a very Fable-ulous (hah!) month, and one where I actually finished the series itself! I’m of two minds on that still, but anyway, playing book catch-up has its pros and cons.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham || Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel || Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman || The Storyteller’s Daughter: A Retelling of the Arabian Nights by Cameron Dokey || Fables 21: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham || Fables 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham || The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

Currently Reading

Not doing a good job actually reading, since I’ve mostly been listening to audiobooks, but there it is. I really should catch up on some Netgalley ARCS as well as books on my TBR.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch || Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America by Karen Abbott

Writing

Yeah, yeah, it’s going. I’m actually determined to do some writing during my creative writing class. At least I’ll do it alongside my students to get back into actual practice. Sigh again.

Movies

The good thing about school being back is that I end up watching a ton of movies on the side while I grade. I watched old favorites as well as new stuff, though not all necessarily good. I regret even pulling up the Netflix version of Death Note, by the way…

But. I’m also now singing along to Newsies so that’s pretty cool.

Gaga: Five Foot Two || Me Before You || Sing || Whiskey Tango Foxtrot || Newsies: The Musical || Casablanca || Death Note (Netflix) || Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Television

Handmaid’s Tale – Had a month of Hulu and I totally binged this show. Big. Mistake. It’s a pretty heavy show, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend bingeing it. It was really good, though.

iZombie – Working slowly through season 2! I think it’s mostly my attention span, but I still like this show, so I’ll get to it all eventually.

Supergirl – Still not sure what to make of this show. I’m slowly trudging through it when I feel like putting something campy and not brain-heavy.

Strike – I am liking this so far! My friend and I are finally up to The Silkworm, which is the book I liked the best of the three Cormoran Strike books I’ve read.

Video Games

I don’t know if I should even include the games/apps I play on my phone on top of Mass Effect 3

But er, yeah, started my umpteenth playthrough of ME3 and already loving the additional quips I get from characters after having played through DLCs in previous games. I can’t wait to rip into the Omega DLC, because Aria T’Loak was definitely one of my favorite NPCs of ME2.

I also have been playing something called The Arcana on my Android, which has beautiful artwork (kind of reminds me of my favorite fanart of the Shades of Magic trilogy) and I’m hoping a really good story!

Fooding

Not much personal cooking in September. I think it’s due to the fact I’ve been coming home late because of school. October is going to be filled with food, though, considering I have at least two birthdays to get through…alive.

Chicken Tapaka || Cajun chicken alfredo pasta || Wildberry gimlet || Rabbit braised in white wine with kasha || Chicken and spiced pecan waffles || Chicken teriyaki bento box || Banana ice cream || Ent draught

Miscellany

Started a knitting project that’s probably going to take up quite a bit of time. I’ll probably talk more about it come December, mostly because talking about it now might spoil a few things.

I’ve already filled up half this wall with student work…

So my classroom is pretty awesome. On a small budget, I managed to Harry Potterize my room somewhat, which is great. My seventh graders certainly appreciated it…when they’re not being terrors, hah!

Nerdy News

Here comes the Magic School Bus! Part deux. DEFINITELY brings back memories. Nerdy, sciencey memories.

If I hadn’t already visited the Warner Bros studio up at the United Kingdom, I’d be all over the news that Harry Potter artifacts are headed down my neighborhood. All the same, pretty cool!

I’m mostly over Peter Jackson at this point, but I am SO watching the eff out of this Phillip Reeve adaptation. Only because steampunk and um, yeah.

The Doctor is finally ginger! Well, David Tennant is anyway. Yaaaaas. This is mostly due to the fact that he’s playing the devilish Crowley in the Gaiman-Pratchett adaptation of Good Omens.

How was your September?

Wrap Up: August 2017

Okay, seriously, the summer came by way too quickly this year. I already have only a few days left before I have to actually get back to work, and I’m shaking my fists at you, Summer!

That said, at least the weather will cool up (I absolutely love sweater weather), and I’m ahead of my Goodreads goal, so huzzah!

Books Read

Still got a number of reviews I want to get done in September, but for the most part, these were the books I’d finished during the month.

I DNFed one book in August, which isn’t too bad, though I do note that my list of DNFs have grown a big higher than previous years. I think it’s tolerance level, maybe. Mostly I just decided that I have way too many books I want to read that spending time on one I don’t really care about is a waste.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr || Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman || Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor || Battlestar Galactica Vol. 1 || Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland || The List by Patricia Forde || Xena, Warrior Princess, Vol. 1 ||  Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One || The Moth and the Flame by Renee Ahdieh || The Crown and the Arrow by Renee Ahdieh || Monstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie M. Liu || The Wicked + The Divine, vols. 4 and 5.

Currently Reading

So far so good!

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel || Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Writing

I’ve been on and off with the writing this summer, which is probably the only thing I’m disappointed in, though, again, largely my fault. I did manage to do a huge deal of edits to my novel, and I wrote down what I can discern are notes of a future short story.

Movies and Television

Lordy, Game of Thrones. I don’t think I can last that long to want to see the last season. I really want it happening sooner than later.

I’ve also pretty much binged iZombie on Netflix and NO REGRETS.

As for movies: the most entertained I got was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is saying something. I absolutely hated how stupid Civil War was, and likely put me off of watching any other Marvel Avengers movie that’s to come in the foreseeable future. I also don’t know why I watched Schindler’s List for practically the umpteenth time, but it IS a fantastic one, albeit the topping is super depressiong.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies || Million Dollar Baby || Captain America: Civil War || The Craft || Schindler’s List || Armageddon || Game of Thrones || iZombie

Video Games

Besides the apps I play on my phone (which have started taking up more time in general), I started Mass Effect 1 all over again and beat that in a week. I’m halfway through my playthrough of Mass Effect 2 but it’s taking longer because of all the DLCs that are now included into my copy. Also, I LOVE Kasumi. I don’t know how I never got through a playthrough with her, especially when I’ve played ME multiple times already.

Gonna have to put some of ME playing on hold, though, now that school is back soon. Sigh.

Fooding

Part of the reason this month went by quickly for me was because I totally baked or cooked double-time. It was hard picking pictures out of really stellar ones, but I’ll narrow things down to food I’ve either made the first time or foods I’ve tried the first time.

Peach crumb cupcakes || Korean-flavored ground beef || Parsnip cakes || Triforce blueberry pie || Pan de bono || Poke bowl || Spicy ramen with poached eggs || Chicken with saffron sauce

Miscellany

Took advantage of the pool and the beach this summer, and went on family and friend trips in surrounding areas (loved the glass museum!). Didn’t travel too far, though, which is somewhat of a bummer, since I’ve made my list of places to visit outside of the U.S. but I’ll have to hit those another time.

My friend and my podcast (Fableulous Retellings) has ended its first season run, and we’re gearing up for season 2, which should be exciting, because it’s all about 1001 Nights, which is a collection of some of my favorite stories ever!

I started a knitting project that could quite possibly take me over a year to finish, because it’s massive. The idea isn’t mine, though it certainly came about when I was making a Christmas present that I wanted for myself as well…

Nerdy News

I mean, how much more epic a saga can Dragon Age be? A super-epic one, if Laidlaw has anything to say about it. And, honestly, I cannot wait for the next installment. After Trespasser, things look like they’re going to get super exciting!

Good Omens is happening, but what’s more, it’s happening with the two perfect actors to take on the roles of Aziraphale and Crowley! Honestly, you can even interchange the roles and I’m sure Tennant and Sheen can still hit the ball out of the park.

A modern Dracula, a la Sherlock? Well, with Sherlock pretty much wrapped up (as far as I can see), I wouldn’t mind seeing what its former creators have in store for another iconic Victorian creation.

A Cuckoo’s Calling has premiered, but I haven’t seen it yet. This was the trailer I watched a while back. I love Holliday Grainger, and this looks pretty good!

“Neo-Victorian fantasy noir.” You mean detective steampunk?! I’m down. So down.

I’m so happy for Victoria Schwab right now. Mostly because now I have MORE Shades of Magic books to look forward to. But, I mean, wow. Just wow. Good for you, Schwab. I can somewhat live vicariously through her, haha.

That’s it. How was your August?