Hello everyone! Today I’m sharing all my hobbies for January with you.
Although, to be honest, this is really from the last week of December and first two weeks of January as this is going up while I’m still in Mexico. I’m guessing I haven’t done too much Netflix watching though when on vacation, so I’ll let you know in February’s post if if there was anything else I did watch or do.
However, I did watch so much during the break for the holidays so this is going to be packed with stuff, don’t you worry!
I’m definitely in a slump when it comes to reading. I just haven’t felt like it lately! I only read 12 books in 2018, which reminds me that I never recapped the books I did read. It’s very strange since when my blog started I used to read sooooo much and did so many more book reviews but it’s just not what I’ve felt like doing lately. Anyway, my goal for 2019 will be 12, one a month!
Before my trip I finished one book, Queen Victoria’s Sketchbook by Marina Warner. It wasn’t a terribly long book as it did have a lot of her sketches featured but there was quite a lot of history. More than talking about the sketches the book really gave the story of Queen Victoria’s life and then added in the sketches as additions to the text. I did expect it to be more about the art but it makes sense as it had really just been the Queen’s hobby. I rated the book 3 out of 5 stars. It was enjoyable for sure but not a “must read” book.
Shows & Movies
So I did finish The Apartment Season 4 (2 on Netflix). Towards the end I did get super invested in it and had my favorites that I wanted to win. The celebrity contestants were so dramatic all the time and so it made for a great season.
I also did finish Nailed It! Holiday Edition and watched a bit of The Great British Baking Show Holidays. I started The Nutcracker but the kid from Home Alone was in it and I just couldn’t continue it. Plus it was sort of the ballet but with an annoying dramatic voice over.
As a family we watched Parks and Recreation on Christmas. My sister tried picking only the holiday episodes but it was hard to tell from the thumbnails so we ended up just watching our favorites for the most part. That show is amazing!
We watched the movie Roma after that. The film is a Netflix film and nominated for tons of awards. I can see why! It’s shot entirely in black and white and follows the life of a servant in a middle-class household. The film takes place in the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City during the 70s, and also coincides with political unrest in the city. The movie was so well done and I really enjoyed experiencing it.
After that, we then watched My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman as my dad saw that President Barack Obama was the guest for that first episode. He absolutely loved that one and I watched it too although I’d already seen it. We also watched the George Clooney one and my parents were impressed with the work he and his wife have done to help refugees.
The next day I watched so much Netflix as well! I watched a few episodes of Fake or Fortune which is about a team of people that try to prove art pieces are real. It’s not as easy as you would think! They end up scanning stuff with infrared a lot to try to see the age of the portrait and analyze other paintings and so on. It was interesting but the team is actually a little too over the top with the drama so I don’t watch too many episodes at a time.
I then switched to 7 Days Out which is a Netflix show. The show follows around major plays in the week leading up to big events such as the Kentucky Derby, Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week show, the Westminster Dog Show, and more. It’s so fun to see how passionate the people are and how hard they work for their craft. It’s really fun and it’s so interesting to see how it all goes.
Afterwards I watched Blue Planet which is a BBC documentary series. It was fun to learn about so many animals and areas of the oceans. I stopped watching soon after a poor beluga was eaten by a polar bear (I’m no longer a fan of polar bears) and after a whale baby was eaten by other whales. I just love whales, particularly belugas, so that was rough.
Next is Ellen Degeneres’ Relatable. It’s her stand up comedy show which was absolutely amazing. I love Ellen a lot, and I don’t watch enough of her since unsubscribing to her YouTube channel (only because it was too much extra other stuff beyond her show clips). The start where she was describing how relatable she is was hilarious and really drove the point home that too many times people make quick assumptions that separate people from each other. I laughed quite a bit at this one so if you need a chuckle, check this one out!
I attempted to watch Avengers Infinity War but quickly realized that I need to catch up on at least two films leading up to this one before continuing. So I didn’t finish this one and at this point I think the cast is getting much too large for these films, but they are still fun.
On New Year’s Eve I watched Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour film on Netflix! Not when they did that Twitter watch party but I did watch it in the morning. I absolutely loved it! I think some of the bigger numbers were a little too over-edited with all those jump cuts but the slower songs were perfect. I was also disappointed that Sugarland’s “Babe” song wasn’t on there (the film was the second Dallas show that had two special guests, neither made it in) but I think it’s probably due to royalties I’m sure. Otherwise though, it was amazing seeing the show again and Taylor Swift did a fantastic job with it!
I finally caved after about a week and watched the series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix. I saw a ton about it on Twitter, particularly people upset that she recommended getting rid of books. I didn’t really see what the fuss was about, as I felt that her tips were really simple. I would have thought they were common knowledge to be honest. However I did like that she presented it simply and the series did have a “anyone can do it!” sort of message. I also really liked the clothing part where she had people put every single article of clothing they own on the bed in a giant pile. I do that often but usually only by seasons, so I do want to try to do it with everything I own all at once. Also I liked that she said the goal for papers was to try to get rid of everything. I think I will try to follow the order that she does things in as it’ll just be a slightly different way of approaching it than I have done before.
And I can’t end this section without mentioning A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 3! This season is the final season, going through books 10-13 of the series. Wow, was this season incredible! As I watched I just got the feeling “yes, this is exactly the story and how it was meant to be shown on a screen” unlike how I felt about the previous movie adaptation. It felt like the perfect balance between the book and moving it to a screen. This absolutely got it right! I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s very much worth it!
I also watched a huge amount of YouTube during the break, getting my Watch Later list down to under 200 again. I really enjoyed so many Vlogmas videos but I would say my favorite Vlogmas this year was Zoella’s. I don’t watch her videos too much anymore because she’s not as down-to-earth anymore but her Vlogmas is always super Christmas-y every year. I didn’t watch all of them as she had really long videos but they were still nice to have on in the background while writing my Blogmas posts and wrapping gifts and such. Btw, a lot of these are going to be older videos (December or earlier) because I’m so behind on that watch later list.
I also really enjoyed Lily Pebbles’ Hosting Friendmas video. I’ve really enjoyed her videos although now that she’s pregnant her videos are focusing on that a bit too much so I’m not sure if I’m going to continue to watch all her videos going forward but that one was nice. She basically showed herself and her husband hosting another couple over for a holiday dinner and it was super low-key and nice to watch.
I have to say, Cardi B’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden was probably the funniest video! A few of my coworkers and I brought it up and talked about it at our team lunch before the break and laughed so much about it! She’s hilarious and I think my favorite part was about how she doesn’t drive but she had 5 cars to take selfies in. That part really spoke to me.
An older video is Grace Helbig’s Not Too Deep conversation with Lily Marston. After the whole Defy Media thing happened back in November I grew more curious about how people didn’t see it coming and why people continued to associate with Defy after hearing how horrible it had been. Lily has certainly helped with shedding light on it, describing how she was only able to keep her separate (personal) channel only by signing onto their creator network and continuing to be an employee for them. I guess it’s sort of a different version of a non-compete but worse. Anyway, Lily did talk a lot more about the Defy thing as well as a bit more on herself beyond Defy which was amazing to learn. I’m subscribed to her channel now and I do love her great personality so I can’t wait to see more from her.
There’s so many YouTube favorites this month! The next one is Safiya Nyggard’s engagement video and her video where she melted candles form Bath & Body Works. Her engagement video was so cute as she was so surprised by it and her ring was lovely. I also really liked how she took a scoop of all the candles she could get her hands on and melted it into one candle. I loved how annoyed she kept getting at the blueberry candle.
Last favorite of YouTube, Amelia Liana’s engagement video! Now shortly after this one I started getting really annoyed at all the engagement announcements but it is a popular time to get engaged I suppose. Her video was so lovely. I thought the engagement itself was a little odd, but she seemed to like it and it was nice that her fiance managed to get her to Paris without her suspecting. I loved the part where he also organized a dinner with both of their entire families and it seemed so nice, particularly when their siblings spoke of the times when they first learned that about how Amelia and her finace were dating and how they felt about it. It was so cute! Now, no more engagement vlogs from anyone please.
First, is Hogwarts Mystery, per usual. I haven’t really been playing this one as much as I had before because it’s just not as fun. There’s too many side challenges and not enough story development these days. I would prefer to get more story progression but clearly the developers weren’t ready to release the game at a reasonable pace since they skip some weeks for the story. From what I see on Twitter, they don’t seem to have a plan for their game either, as they selected a few people that play the game and send them surveys to learn what the people playing want, so I’m not sure how much progress they’re making if they stop to hear opinions every so often. I’m still playing, but at a much slower pace and I rarely get the prizes from timed events anymore. I prefer the story and then a few days off! At least there will be plenty to catch up on after I’m back from vacation!
Anyway, for the game, I think I’m caught up, but it’s hard to tell until you get the message that you are as far as you can be until the next update. Ava Samwise Quagmire is trying long hair now, she’s always had a pixie cut but she has shoulder length hair. I’m not sure it feels like her though, consider for five years it’s been a pixie. She’s max friendship for everyone up through Charlie, so it’s just the three new friends that are only levels 4 or 5 friendship right now.
Next is Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is the second game in the rebooted Tomb Raider series. I hadn’t realized this had come out for PS4, as it had been an Xbox exclusive for so long after it was released years ago. But I am playing it now, waiting for Shadow of the Tomb Raider until after I’m done with this. I have watched so many play-throughs of this game that I keep feeling as if I have already played it even though I haven’t. I’ve had many moments though where I figured out the puzzle too quickly as I’ve remembered parts of it from watching others play or known where a baddie is hiding. Also, it is very similar to the first game in many ways. I’m currently very annoyed with how much backtracking is needed though. There’s so many areas that you have to go back through for missions or to do stuff that you couldn’t due to lack of the right equipment.
I have still been practicing guitar! I’m working on 1) not looking at where my fingers are when playing, 2) going slower to make less mistakes, and 3) start learning chords! I have basically learned the first few notes on the first three strings and then three chords as well. Chords, when done right, are beautiful and I’m a new fan to them. I didn’t understand the appeal before due to the fact that I played flute for over a decade and you can’t play chords on that instrument alone, now I get it though.
Otherwise my favorite song lately has been Ariana Grande’s thank u, next. The music video was so fun! I haven’t seen all the films she featured but now I need to. It’s so amazing!
I’ve also enjoyed Cardi B’s new song Money. The music video was a little much but it was still fun to watch. It’s very interesting. Also, the desire to work hard and get money is something I can totally relate to.
Still slacking on this one!
Creative Life & DIY
I’ve started working on a few pages of my ebook that I’m making for myself. It’s a sort of blog planner, so I would have liked to have done it by the new year but oh well. If I do end up liking it, I’d love to offer it up on my blog.
I have another item that I’m not quite sure where to put yet so I’ll stick it here. This month was the FIRST Robotics Competition Kick Off! I was exposed to the organization of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) through work and the organization presented the game for this year’s competition in April early this month. The theme is Deep Space this year which makes me even more excited as I love space! Anyway, the short version of this competition is that kids on teams build robots to compete in the game but the event and organization is about so, so much more than that! I go to one of the championship events in Houston every year for work, so I can’t wait to see the competition in person. If you want to see the kick off event you can watch the video at the Twitch channel “FIRSTinspires” or search FIRST FRC 2019 Deep Space or some combination of those words in YouTube if you just want to see the concept of the game.
So that’s my hobbies update for the month! Like I said, I’m writing this before leaving for vacation so I’m pretty much working with early January content but I didn’t want to have to stress about writing and posting while I was gone. I’ll be sure to update with anything I watch during the vacation in next month’s update!
Let me know what you’ve been enjoying, I need new recommendations after catching up on so much during the holiday break!
Thanks for reading!
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